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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Orchard & Vineyard

...Too many apples
...Pears etc
...- Viticulture
...- Not only grapes!

Nothing can be more pleasant on a warm summer's day than to be able to sit in a fine orchard, a hive of bees gently murmuring in the distance, a few sheep contentedly cropping the short grass.

In the dappled light you can daydream of all the things you intend to be busily doing next year. In sad reality in most of the orchards today you may well be run over if not asphyxiated by a rampant crop-spraying tractor.

Producing apples and pears for sale can be a frustrating experience. Despite continual movements by our own apple-growers the continental varieties fill our shops. Their uniformity of size and colour means that the customer knows exactly what he is purchasing and, of course, the advertising that backs up the product is superb. Many different varieties are being produced to compete and large sums of money are being spent by brave growers on the presentation of their products. All this really seems to show is that anyone thinking about trying to make money from apples and pears either needs great capital resources or needs their head examining.

But it need not be either of these. To start planting vast orchards is certainly a nerve-racking venture. So what about the older orchards in existence?