Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Dear all.

It's been a long time! Sorry if I have failed to answer any questions, I haven't been coming here and don't get an email feed from this blog.No offence intended, none taken I hope, but Julia and I have just had so much to do I have let this blog fall totally into neglect. The web site has dropped off, I only realised recently it is no longer searchable, it seems like Yahoo have arbitrarily pulled the plug and I didn't even notice. Ah well, it wasn't that great and YouTube tells a better story for less effort, so let it be.

Life has been complicated. In brief:

Our average age is now over 60. In July 2015 I had a very bad fall which left me with limited mobility. We have pulled out of all marketing of fruit. Any apples we don't use go for cider to our friend Mr Jez Howitt. I regularly send out scion wood in early spring (more on this later). My medical and education work has grown, leaving me less time for the orchard and blogging. The YouTube channel remains my main outlet for information. And...blah blah.

We aim to keep up the orchard but more as a place of rest and recreation and an apple sanctuary.

Currently doing some life laundry and having to decide which activities to stop, which to continue and at what level.

I may keep this blog going, depending on level of interest. See you.


  1. Hello from Canada Stephen. Sorry to hear about your challenges related to your fall. I had a bad one myself about 12 years ago and I now have a fused right ankle. "Them's the breaks"...so they say ;b

    I just recently subscribed to your Youtube channel and left a message there, but I thought I would ask here as well: Is it possible to send scion wood to Canada? If it is, could you please tell me a ballpark price to send some? I'm just starting an orchard here on the Gulf Islands and wanted to get my hands on some interesting varieties. Already into Orleans Reinetee, Rubinette, Bramleys Seedling, Belle de Boskoop, Cox's Orange, King, Hubbardston Nonsuch. Can't wait to get more.

    Hope you're enjoying the "dog days" of summer and I look forward to hearing from you.


    Drew Staniland

  2. Stephen,

    I for one, truly wish you would elaborate on the pitfalls of small commercial orchard operation as well as an emphasis on how aged related infirmaries factor in.

    I am sure there are many folks contemplating a small commercial orchard as retirement avocation and a very frank discussion of the economics of an orchard operation, age etc might so a number of folks a lot of good. I have watched and listened to your videos and there are hints, bits and pieces sprinkled in, but I sense a reluctance on your part to discuss the economics of the situation as well as what you have learned in regard to marketing directly to the public.

    In my case I am in my early 50s and contemplating gearing down and moving toward semi-retirement at 55-57 and a starting a small commercial operation with the idea of the trees moving to productions around age 57-60. I note that is not too far from the age when you decided to step back from the idea of a commercial orchard. Maybe this is young man’s game?

    Anyway, cheers…

  3. Sending best wishes to you and Julia,
    Sorry to hear that you had a fall. I was looking to get in touch to see if you had any apples to supply the farm shop. Your apples will be sadly missed, but want to wish you both well, from the whole family at Westlands Farm Shop.

  4. Hello from Basingstoke.
    Was just looking for your old website as I value the list of apple types; it is a pity the main website no longer exists. In case it is of help to anyone an archive of it exists at: https://web-beta.archive.org/web/20120301080531/http://www.fruitwise.net/varieties.htm

    May God bless you both richly.
    John Dubery

  5. My favorite Apple Guru. Hope your health improves. I'm trying to save something of the last remaining apple tree (in the world) of Calef's Sweet (ca 1780), a great winter apple. So I'll continue to watch you on Youtube for tidbits.

    You may consider consulting for Heritage apple growers.

    Again: All the best from New Hampshire.

    R. Guerin


Welcome to the Fruitwise Heritage Apples blog. Feel free to leave a comment, I will try to respond where appropriate but FAQs may have been already addressed in my YouTube videos or the http://www.fruitwise.net site. Remember, I am not a professional fruit grower, only an enthusiastic experienced amateur. Any and all advice is offered freely and with sincere good faith, but remember I might be mistaken, and my preferences,
soil and climate may be different from yours which would diminish the relevance of my advice, so check other sources before acting. In any event, I am not responsible for any outcomes!

Kind regards to all.