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Winter pruning

 

Back in the autumn, the trees shed their leaves and went into dormancy.  This allows the trees to survive the cold, icy winter without damage to their delicate reproductive tissues because the fruit buds are tightly closed.

 

This is the ideal time for pruning, the job that occupies us for nearly five months every year.  We have two tractor-mounted pruning machines that use giant circular saws to cut and shape the trees. However most of the work is done by hand, using a variety of power-assisted cutting tools to cut through thick branches and reduce repetitive strain injury for the staff.  Working in all weathers, you can see our pruning staff working their way across every orchard as the winter progresses.  They are closely followed by the pulveriser, which chops the cut material into a fine mulch so that tractors can easily pass up the rows.

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Taking just two or three minutes per tree, they certainly make it look easy but pruning is a highly skilled task.  Take out too much and the tree reacts with excessively vigorous growth; take out too little and the crop will be small and poor quality.  The trees are contained to a regulation height in order for the pickers to be able to reach every fruit from the ground, since ladders are considered too dangerous in the modern orchard.

 

As we race through the pruning, we are all hoping for a “Normal” season, not beginning too early and not having any sharp frosts once the trees break their dormancy.

 
Apple Juice Launched

 

 Mitchell's apple juice has now been launched. 

 You will find it at:

 

Wells Greengrocers, Borough Green

Ightham Farm Shop

Plaxtol Stores

Chart Farm Shop, Seal Chart

Barden Stores, Tonbridge

Bakers Farm Shop, Otford Road, Sevenoaks

J & G Fruiterers, Hadlow

 

Contact us for a 12 x 1 ltr case

Delivered free within the TN15 area

www.mitchellsjuice.co.uk

 
National Fruit Show

Partners Robert and Helen visited the National Fruit Show in October, introducing the new company to the many trade exhibitors who were present.  We actually purchased one of the new tractors on the Haynes of Maidstone stand.  Seven old David Browns were traded in against a New Holland T3030 compact fruit tractor, which now takes pride of place in our fleet. 
 
Apple juice on its way

 

 

Apple picking is now completed and the first ever batch of Mitchell's apple juice is ready to be pressed. Ours is a special blend containing 25% Bramley and 75% dessert apples which will give a full-flavoured, balanced taste. 

 

The picture shows tree-ripened fruit being picked into bins, which are transported to the juice factory for pressing and bottling.

Our shiny new label will be unveiled very soon!

 
New look website

Our new look website is here!

Enjoy browsing, and we would appreciate any feedback.

 
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If this is a requirement for trading with us, please initiate a relationship via the Sedex website.

 

 

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