Husthwaite has been known for many years as the Orchard Village due to its history of fruit growing and jam manufacture dating back for three centuries.
Many of the houses (garths) had large fertile gardens with productive orchards and villagers were able to ensure that fruit growing was effectively utilised.
Production reached a peak during the First World War when fresh fruit was transported from the now defunct Husthwaite railway station.
By the late 1960's nearly all of the existing orchards had been removed and there was very little evidence of the village's heritage.
The Orchards of Husthwaite Co-Operative was formed in 2009 with the intention of replanting the vanishing orchards and using the fruit to make and sell a variety of products.
The first phase of the project has been the replacement of the estimated 80% of trees that had disappeared since the 1950s. This has involved planting over 500 new trees in and around the village.. Some to restore old orchards, others to start new ones, and the rest in villagers‘ gardens, at the pub, and in the school grounds. The next stage is a plan to graft rare and ancient varieties onto strong root stock from February.
The second phase commencing in 2010 involves the production and sale of cider, fruit juice and related products.
Any surpluses will be used to support Village activities and projects.
Already some villagers with good crops of apples have had their fruit juiced this year, and this will continue for anyone next year, on 3 juicing days in September and October 2010. In future, production will be based at Manor House, in a specially designed building in the fold yard. There will be rooms for juicing and storage.
Cameron Smith, Lawrie Hill, Philip Hewitson. Jan Coulthard (secretary)