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First ever Salford Community Orchard Pie Contest

Slice up your apples, roll out the pastry and get your pie dishes at the ready! It’s time for the first ever Salford Community Orchard Pie Contest in honour of Apple Day, the annual celebration of Britain’s rich apple-growing heritage.

Organised by Helping Britain Blossom and the orchard leaders of Green Grovenor Park, Albert Park and Riverbank Park community orchards, the inaugural Salford Pie Contest – at Ordsall Hall on Saturday 22nd October – coincides with Salford’s annual Food & Drink Festival.

The Apple Day celebration will also feature a range of apple activities including juicing demos and fruit fun and games.

But the Pie Contest is not just a test of the fruit pie-making skills of the people of Salford. It also aims to raise awareness of Greater Manchester’s community orchards, including their social, environmental and enterprising benefits.

Organiser Dan Hasler from Helping Britain Blossom – a partnership between HEINEKEN, The Orchard Project and The Bulmer Foundation, whose aim is to create more than 100 new and restored orchards across the UK by 2017 – explains:

“Everyone loves a home-baked fruit pie and with October being the traditional harvest-time for fruits such as apples and pears, we thought it would be a great idea to organise our own Bake-Off-style apple pie competition to coincide with Apple Day. Who knows, we might even find Salford’s very own champion baker who we can help to set up their own cottage industry!”

“On a more serious note, we also want to highlight the wonderful benefits that community orchards bring; from teaching people about where their food comes from, helping communities to learn new orcharding skills and meet new friends as well as the social enterprise opportunities they can create. We want to show there’s more to community orchards than free fruit.”

Natalie Muresan, Orchard leader for Riverbank Park Community Orchard in Kersal and community development worker for Inspiring Communities Together has been an orchard leader for two years. She says:

“Our strapline for Salford’s community orchards is ‘creating better places to live’ and this apple pie contest is a great way of doing just that. It’s about keeping momentum and getting people thinking about community orchards and the benefits they bring. In that way people are more likely to care about them and want to look after them not only for this generation but for those to come too.”

Members of the Salford Angels Women’s Institute will be lending their expertise to judge the competition, alongside The Ceremonial Mayor of the City of Salford, Councillor Karen Garrido.

Salford’s fruit lovers and bakers alike are being urged to gather their fruit, don their aprons and pre-register free-of-charge to take part in the contest by visiting: www.salfordpiecontest.eventbrite.co.uk.

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.