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What is Honest Graft?

Honest Graft is a small, privately funded community interest company, established and run by enthusiasts in Newcastle upon Tyne who work with a wide range of local groups, community orchards and individuals, teaching people the age old technique of clonal reproduction known as grafting, and in so doing introduce to them the many thousands of varieties of top-fruit; apples, pears, plums, gages, quince etc which grow in the UK.

We access these varieties through the National Fruit Collection based in Brogdale, Kent.  This collection of varieties has been established and passed down through generations, and in some cases over centuries, but it is not just a curiosity.  It is a legacy of inestimable value bequeathed to us, and it is incumbent upon us to nurture this inheritance and ensure it is available for the benefit of our children and grandchildren and the countless generations beyond them.

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Why Honest Graft Matters

Growing food closer to the point of consumption and enjoying the growing of it brings great reward.

But, by not just conceptually learning about the many varieties which can be grown here – but actively growing them – we enter a whole new world of possibilities adding resilience to our food system and community in the process.

Of this  great number of varieties available some are chance finds, perhaps from a discarded core, whilst others the result of years of diligent work, yet in all cases they have something of value to us, from resistance to pest and disease, to flavour, keeping qualities and so on.

What Honest Graft Offers

We intend to continue to run our grafting courses for local groups, whilst enabling previously skilled groups and individuals to build on their new passion by making grafting material available to them.  We are also excited to be commencing pilot projects with local schools with the aim of rolling out a larger project.

But our ultimate aim is to establish a living library, a fruit collection for the region, from which we can better support the many individuals and projects who are growing fruit to develop their own collections.  By growing an extensive range we can actively evaluate the viability of these varieties and, more importantly, allow people to try these fruits, further stimulating interest and so appreciating the potential of this tremendous legacy.

We think this is a great opportunity, but it’s not something we can do alone, please do let us know if you’d like to be involved or have any ideas for further projects, via the Contact Us page, our blog, or by Facebook or Twitter.

Who We Are

Alistair Robinson

“Studying a Forest Products Technology degree gave a solid grounding in land-based production, policy and economics, and the urgency of change.        It also highlighted the value of grassroots projects in generating lasting and meaningful change.”

Owner of EvergreenGardeningServices, founder and sponsor of Honest Graft.

 

Tony Milan

A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, moving to the North East in 1981, going onto take leadership roles in local FE colleges developing and running educational and training programmes for professional Horticulturists and all who share a passion for plants and the environment.

Always keen to support and assist those wanting to improve their skills and knowledge, develop local resources and make a difference.”

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Contact Us

Please feel free to drop us a line.