Patchwork Orchard is a visual response to the Leigh Allotment Orchards (aka The Essex Varieties Orchard) comprised of a series of macro images of apples harvested from the orchard by Ron Bates, one of the founders.  The orchard was established in 2003, specifically to grow and preserve various Essex varieties, as well as to encourage statutory legal protection of the allotments in case of any potential future threats from land developers. 

This project previewed in the first issue of Glomalin, a publication initiated by permaculturist Graham Burnett (Spiralseed) combining text, art, ideas and actions from the realms of collaboration, mutual aid and new/old ways of doing things. The publication takes its cue from the premise that another world is possible, recognising that working and interacting cooperatively for the mutual advantage of all is essential for the healthy functioning of both ecosystems and societies, and can have benefits far beyond the sum of the individual parts of such a system. The theme of the first issue was ‘Patchwork Orchard’, a community growing project that will be developing in Southend-on-Sea. The issue launched at a South East Essex Organic Gardeners meeting earlier in 2023 with a talk on orchards from Ron Bates. 

Image: Microscopic samples of Essex Apple Varieties. 

Image: Leigh Allotment Orchards (aka The Essex Varieties Orchard) site plan. Courtesy of Ron Bates.
Image: Glomalin Issue 1, Patchwork Orchard, 2023.
Los Angeles, Calif.