Crapes Fruit Farm is located just five miles west of Colchester, Essex, and only one mile north of Marks Tey Railway Station, within easy reach of the A12. From Stansted (M11) – just 30 miles.  Our address is Rectory Road, Aldham, Colchester, Essex CO6 3RR. Telephone: 01206 212375.

Our peaceful, family orchard of fifteen acres is rich with a range of birds (skylark, wren and woodpecker, for example), insects (including dragonflies), and plant life. We also see deer, stoats and many rabbits, living in the orchards. Some of the insects and bats that inhabit the premises are predators of aphids and other fruit pests, helping to keep down the population of unwanted, fruit-harming wildlife!

Andrew, the eldest of the third generation of Tanns at the farm, is dedicated to the production of apples – which taste like apples should.  Crapes Fruit Farm has a collection of many varieties of apple which was compiled by Andrew’s father, John Tann. These include very traditional and lesser-known varieties such as Blenheim Orange and D’arcy Spice.

During production, our fruit is treated with just a minimum of chemical. Residual herbicides, chemicals to regulate tree growth or even to delay fruit maturity are not used, nor are agents to improve skin finish.  After picking, the apples are not immersed in chemicals prior to storage, neither are they washed, waxed or polished – we leave that to you!

The most important decision of the year is to harvest the fruit on the right day.  Flavour in any fruit is determined before it is picked, as is its ability to store. However, our season begins in July – the early blossoming of some varieties this spring may be reflected with an earlier picking/maturity date than average – this we have yet to discover! Once picked, our apples are stored in plain, cold air – not in a gas controlled environment.

We aim to provide you with fruit that will store successfully in your own basement or garage (mice permitting).  Remember that very large apples are unlikely to store well.  Apples in the range of 4 – 6 per pound or 9 – 13 per kilograms keep best.  Very wet summers often reduce the time that an apple stays crisp once picked even if cold stored.

As well as apples, cherries, plums, quince and medlars are available in their season from our farm shop. Early August shows the first of a new season of apples, ready for both eating and cooking.  Later in August the plums will be available, and in November the medlars are ready also.  Our apples are usually on sale through until late March, both to customers visiting the farm, and for those opting to receive fruit by post. Various other fruits previously mentioned can be sent, during their season, by post. The best time to visit is from mid-October to  late  November,  when  we  have  the  widest range of  apples.

During the season, fruit is offered for sale to visitors to the farm and to consumers all over the UK. If you are looking for a tray or box of fruit to collect, please contact us ahead so that it is ready for you ‘by arrangement’ – or feel free to telephone to find out what is available at any given time. This season we expect to have a range of plums and some gages available to send out during August.

Please remember: we are closed on Sundays.