Swedish orchard link up sees Horticulturists develop a taste for apple growing

Teams meeting screenshot with students and staff

Borders College prides itself on being a globally engaged institution and a recent international online visit to an orchard in Sweden by our Horticulturists highlighted this.

Lecturer Nigel Gibb arranged the link up with his old friend Henrik Stridh, who is the Director of the Apple Growing Cooperative Appelriket, based in Kivik, Southern Sweden, to allow the students to get an insight into apple growing in the Nordic country.

Henrik welcomed the group before delivering a tour of his own garden and spoke about the systems he uses to grow the apples. He talked in-depth about the variety of apples produced and how each one has a unique selling point.

The students learned about the importance of weather conditions, rootstock management, growing conditions and pruning to ensure maximum yield and quality.

The following week saw the students once again hook up with Henrik, who talked about grading and the cold storage facilities and techniques used to store apples before despatch and sale to retailers.

A PowerPoint presentation was created to show the students which parts of Sweden are most popular for fruit growing, emphasising how climate conditions and the analysis of ground conditions, as well as fertilisation, play a major part in the healthy production of apples.

The Horticulturist students will soon be carrying out the pruning of apples on local estate gardens, as well as carrying the grafting of apple rootstocks as part of a propagation unit. The information gained from Henrik will help complement the practical work they will be carrying out.

Nigel Gibb commented:

“This was a great opportunity for the students to learn about apple growing and storage techniques used in Sweden. Henrik and I studied together for a year in 1999/2000 when he was doing a foreign exchange to SAC, now called SRUC, and he has a wealth of knowledge in the apple growing industry. The knowledge passed on will be vital in aiding the students through their practical studies.”

Are you interested in a career in Horticulture? If so, visit our website by clicking on the following link: https://www.borderscollege.ac.uk/course-search

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