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Orchards of Husthwaite began in 2009 with a project started by the village history society that produced a book based on photographs, recollections and anecdotes from villagers who were old enough to remember how the village was a commercial hub for fruit growing. On the back of the research and feedback from villagers it was decided to start a business that was run by volunteers to replant the village with fruit trees and commence making produce to generate a surplus to match fund projects within the village. The first phase of the project saw over 1000 trees planted in and around the village and at the school with a nursery then started concentrating on Yorkshire and unique local varieties of apples to replace older trees and also to sell.
Husthwaite has been known as the Orchard Village of North Yorkshire due to its history of growing fruit and trading the crops at market and with jam factories over the last 3 centuries. It is documented that the village traded with Captain Cook and the Whitby Whaling boat owners and a set of whale jaw bones were presented to the village in the 1800’s and were placed either side of Malton Street at the entrance to the village in a similar way as the set at the cliff top in Whitby today.
Since 2010 over £40,000 of profit has been generated and donations have gone to a variety of project in the village some of which are listed below-
• A pavilion at the playground
• A heating system for the new village hal
l • A village monthly club
• An indoor short mat bowling club
• Library shelving for the book exchange
• An A3 printer for the village hall
• Sponsorship of a number of plays at the village hall
• Stage equipment for the theatre group
• The Primetime indoor activity club
• School demonstrations on apple pressing and grafting
• Sponsoring and running apple day village events
• A new village noticeboard
• Painting the vintage village road signs
• Donations to the local foodbank
Donations to the village youth club
• And a number of other one off smaller donations
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