Sunnycroft has always had an orchard as part of its ‘estate’. There are a variety of fruit trees providing fruit for jams, jellies and conserves including apples, pears, plums and damsons.
Orchards provided families with fresh fruit for very little initial cost. The garden became a vital provider of produce especially in wartime. Fresh fruit was in short supply in the shops so it became important to grow your own.
Joan Lander the last lady, who lived at Sunnycroft, was frugal and thrifty. Not out of necessity but as part of her upbringing during the war. Excess seasonal produce from the garden was sold at the local Wellington market and jams were a perfect way to preserve excess fruit. Joan frequently made a variety of conserves, jams and marmalades. The last batch she made in 1997 can still be seen in the Larder of the house, with their own handwritten labels.
You can join in the apple fun with our apple pressing event on the 29th and 30th of September. We use a traditional apple press to crush the apples into a lovely apple juice that you can try.