"Fruit trees grafted by hand from the trees in the national fruit collection, with rare and heritage varieties being our specialism. Every tree we graft that you take home and plant is a little piece of British history"
- Donna Cooper, Founder
Learn about our Carbon Offset Programme
Did you know?An acre of apple trees can absorb 10-20 tonnes of carbon/annum (depending on the age and size of the trees) furthermore they can release 15 tonnes of oxygen into the environment. 90% of our fresh fruit and vegetables in the UK is imported. By planting orchards we can instantly make a difference by reducing the need to import as much and to enjoy fruit as nature intended eating in season!
Star of the orchard
There are many stories relating to the Annie Elizabeth apple and after whom it was named. First grown in 1857 in Leicester by Samuel Greatorex the apple was said to be named after his baby daughter who sadly died aged one. However, in 1898 the apple was introduced commercially by Harrison’s of Leicester and another story tells us that Thomas Harrison named the apple after his two daughters – Annie and Elizabeth!
No matter which story is the truth we are certain that Annie Elizabeth was grown from a pip of Blenheim Orange. Annie Elizabeth is very different to its parent with golden flesh and delicious flavour. A cooking apple that is partially self-fertile, cropping in late October/November but will store if conditions are right until Spring. It retains some texture when cooked, so perfect for apple pie rather than a crumble! A star of the orchard too as Annie Elizabeth has good disease resistance to mildew, scab and canker.
Annie Elizabeth remained a very popular apple until the 1930’s widely grown commercially. It has a beautiful blossom with buds of the deepest pink, opening to reveal flowers of light pink.
The apples that follow are large and flavoursome, sweet enough not to need any additional sugar but with just the right amount of acidity that you would expect from a cooking apple.
We hope that we can reintroduce this star and see its popularity restored!