Pitmedden Garden has sellout success with first ever apple day harvest drive-thru

The annual Pitmedden Garden apple and pear harvest took place this month as a drive-thru event.

Published 28th Sep 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

With thousands of apples and pears ready for picking, the National Trust for Scotland’s Pitmedden Garden near Ellon adapted its annual fruit picking event to offer Scotland’s first ever drive-thru harvest.

While the usual entertainment wasn't available to go ahead due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the team at Pitmedden Garden sold approximately 400kg of local produce on Sunday 27 September.

Welcoming 112 cars to the lawn in front of Pitmedden House, which is owned by the conservation charity, bags of homegrown  fruit were laid out for buyers to pick up and enjoy at home.

Dedicated gardeners tend to the apple and pear trees all year round to offer the best quality produce and with over 10 varieties of apple, two types of pear and home baking on offer, drivers were spoilt for choice.

In line with Covid-19 safety measures, staff wore appropriate PPE and each purchase was contact-free. Attendees were asked to not leave their car or approach the produce stall by foot.

Remaining produce is available to buy at Pitmedden Garden, which will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am - 4.30pm until 1 November.

Monique Lanz, visitor services supervisor at Pimedden Garden, said: “Our apple day is the most popular event in our calendar at Pitmedden Garden and we usually welcome thousands of excited apple enthusiastsat this time of year.

"With the produce ready bagged, we were glad to offer a Covid-safe way for the public to enjoy our wonderfully fresh produce.

“Our dedicated gardeners, who have been tending to the apple trees all year round, were glad to see so many cars turn up.

"They work extremely hard to make sure that Pitmedden Garden’s apple crop is successful and of high quality and that people can enjoy it for years to come.

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"We rely on donations and the support of our visitors to be able to run events like this and the support we received at yesterday’s apple event really shows the strength of people supporting their community at an uncertain time.”

Pitmedden Garden history

The Great Garden dates back to 1675 when it was originally laid out by Sir Alexander Seton. In the 1950s the Trust re-created the garden based on 17th-century plans of the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

The walls at Pitmedden Garden are displaying espalier trained apple trees and with an orchard planted in 2014, meaning that Pitmedden Garden is now packed with more than 200 fruit trees.

For more information, visit the Pitmedden Garden website.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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