We are delighted to have been crowned the winner of this year’s Best Orchard Competition, organised by the East Kent Fruit Society, with our Zari orchard at Shrubbery Farm, Eastry. This orchard and variety also took the winning title for the best orchard under 1,000 trees and Class D Best Dessert.
Shrubbery Farm is 120 acres planted with 28 acres of Royal Gala, 34 acres of Zari, 8 acres of Braeburn, 8 acres of Cox and 17 acres of Comice and Conference pears. Over the last several years there has been a significant orchard replanting programme and by 2020, one million new trees will have been planted across our 17 farms, including Shrubbery.
The Zari orchard at Shrubbery Farm is planted on wire work with a 3m cane system, planted at a distance of 3.5m between the rows and 1.2m within the row. Pollinators used are malus and Golden Delicious.
Nigel Stewart, Technical Director at AC Goatham & Son comments: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Orchard Competition, along with the other two titles. We strive for uniformity and perfection across all of our orchards and this particular Zari orchard is a real showcase of the team’s growing skills. We enjoyed welcoming members of the EKFS to our orchard on 16 August and hope they enjoyed the orchard tour, delicious barbecue and of course the warm summer evening.”
Zari is a new variety and is exclusively grown by AC Goatham & Son. It is popular thanks to its clean and classic apple flavour. Zari has a crunchy texture with pale flesh and a light red blush to the skin. Zari’s are available from September to December.