(Can i first just say that this blog post is not an advert and i have not been paid to talk about this. It is just a blog from a satisfied customer)
For those of you who may follow me on some other social networking sites. You may have noticed me mentioning the fact that i've been out picking cherries from my cherry tree.
Now, i do not own this tree, i merely rent it.
Renting a tree?, i hear you ask, how on earth does that work? Well, i'm glad you asked, because i'm going to tell you.
Up until a couple of years ago, i had never heard of anyone renting a fruit tree and apart from the scheme that i'm involved with, i still haven't.
It's all very simple really. I pay a yearly rental fee for a particular cherry tree. For that fee i get to pick and keep, all of the fruit from that tree. It is in effect, my tree. I even have a certificate, with my name on it, telling me exactly which tree is mine. As long as i pay my rental fee every year, the tree remains mine.
And that is it.
The farmer does all the work and looks after the tree for me. He even sends me regular emailed newsletters, telling me about the state of the trees, the likely optimum picking dates and how good the crop is likely to be. All i do is pay my money and then turn up and pick the cherries. I can then do with those cherries what i wish. I could even sell them if i wanted to.
As you can see from this photo, the trees can carry a lot of fruit.
Whilst i don't know if this scheme is unique and i certainly hope it isn't. I think that this is a really good idea.
Here in the UK, we have seen a number of farmers "grubbing out" their fruit trees, because they are not really financially viable any more. This has certainly been the case with apple orchards, where many have disappeared over the past few years. Fruit farming, in the UK, seems to have taken a big hit recently.
So, this renting scheme seems like a really clever and inventive way of preventing this happening. It helps to preserve the fruit trees for future generations and it also helps to keep the farms in business.
I'd love to see it extended to other farms and farmers. But, also to other types of fruit. Apples for example. I would certainly be very interested in renting an eating apple tree as well. So, if anybody, local, knows of one, please let me know.
Another added attractions of the renting scheme, is the family aspect of it all.
As i said before, the tree effectively becomes yours and this has an effect on the way that you and your family start to feel aboutt that tree. For example, when you are picking the fruit, you make sure that you don't harm the tree in the process. After all, this might harm the crop for next year.
When i went to pick my first batch of cherries this year, with my son as it happens. There were family groups there, making a day out of the whole picking process. They had brought along a picnic and were sitting down, next to their tree, eating their lunch. What a nice way for a family to spend a day together.
I went back today, to pick the remaining fruit and this time i went with my father-in-law. As i said, it becomes a family affair.
So, all in all, i am one very satisfied customer and i can recommend this scheme and any others like it. It's a great way of keeping the fruit trees in the orchards and the fruit farmers in business. And you can have some family days out, picking your own fruit, in the great British countryside into the bargain.
Now all i need to do is figure out what i'm going to do with all of these cherries?