Brendon Orchards Cooperative has grown and evolved since the early days. Here, we present some of the key milestones and events of these last years.
"We, the people, do have the power to stop [the] tragic waste of resources if we regard it as socially unacceptable to waste food."Tristram Stuart - The Global Food Waste Scandal
Meeting in Primary School to pull together a few potential strands of activity around Transition Town themes. From this night two amazing projects were born - Brendon Energy and Brendon Orchards Cooperative.
First Apple Day
We held our first Apple Day at Wiveliscombe Community Centre. We borrowed some manual pressing equipment and demonstrated a hydropress. Fantastic interest and enthusiasm shown by community.
Funding Success, New Equipment and Publicity
Funding received in the form of a loan to purchase a full set of equipment - in time for a bumper harvest. Equipment used successfully in 10 Parishes and beyond. Group started to attract attention and appearances on BBC Radio Somerset and in the Somerset Gazette. First links made with some local orchards that have continued for several years.
We are now a formal Cooperative with an HQ!
Generous local support enables Brendon Orchards Cooperative to operate from a unit in Central Wiveliscombe giving us an HQ for juicing and storage space. Application to set up as a bona fide cooperative granted, lease for unit signed.
Successful funding bid to LARC facilitates the conversion of our Apple HQ to food hygiene standard and purchase of a further two sets of equipment.
New Website, poor Harvest
The Autumn 2012 harvest is the worst for many years however this gives us the opportunity to work on the first version of our website.
Apple Press Manager Appointed
Cooperative decides to offer contract to manage the press hire which fulfils a long held ambition of the group and supports the goals of the grant funding which is to create local employment.
A special harvest
2013 has been an incredible season for Brendon Orchards Cooperative. The local trees produced tonnes of fruit and the equipment has been used constantly for 3 months. We were also featured on BBC Countryfile which was seen by 7 million viewers. This resulted in huge interest in the project, equipment etc.
Membership numbers increase
A record year for new cooperative memberships and member renewals.
Plans for a community orchard
We are now exploring various sites where we can create an orchard resource for the benefit of the local community.
Fully responsive website created by Visibility&Co to meet our technical needs and better reflect the objectives of the Cooperative.
Committee Members: Outgoing. Incoming.
We'd like to thank the outgoing committee members for all their hard work, passion and dedication. We welcome the new members and look forward to building on the foundation of success.
New Apple Press Manager
The wonderful Bex Smith was appointed for the 2014 season.
Member Numbers Continue to Grow
2014 saw number of members go over the 100 mark - now 108.
New Press Kit
To satisfy the increasing demand, BOC have invested in a third complete Press Kit to hire out. This was bought from accumulated funds without any grants. It looks like all three kits will be very busy throughout the harvest season!
As part of their 5th October feature on the 2017 apple harvest, BBC Points West and their Somerset reporter, Clinton Rogers, visited The Greenhouse to see the Community Juicing in action. It was (as ever) very busy and the viewers had a quick look at the juicing operation and heard a little about the history of BOC.