What is Honest Graft?

Honest Graft is a small, privately funded community focussed 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’ve accessed 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.


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 continue to run 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 continuing to maintain proven 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.


Growing Through Changes

Some years ago the inspirational Tom Martin organised the first ‘Fruit on the Tyne‘ conference, bringing together the myriad groups and individuals with an active interest in growing fruit. One of the speakers was then headteacher of Wylam First School, home to Wylam Community Orchard (complete with award winning meadow). Wylam is an affluent leafy …

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