It's been more than 100 years since Falkland, in Fife, had cause to celebrate the return of sustainable fruit growing with its first full apple harvest. The Royal burgh is marking the occasion with a season of events designed to celebrate the return of the fruit and the importance of locally produced food.

The Falkland Orchard Apple Festival will take place during the harvest season in October. It will feature a number of cooking workshops that are open to the public and free to attend. The events have been specially designed to showcase the versatility of locally produced apples as well as passing on useful culinary tips to be used at home.

Falkland has an ancient tradition of fruit growing with orchards long associated with the palace – and as an essential element of the ancient Forest of Falkland. However, with increased awareness around the importance of fruit and vegetables and growing demand for locally produced foods, it seemed an opportune time to re-establish the town’s fruit links with a new orchard.

“This is a special moment for Falkland,” explained Ninian Stuart, head of strategy at the Centre for Stewardship, based on the estate. “Falkland, the estate and the palace have all had long associations with producing fruit. Sadly these traditions have lapsed over time and a decision was made to re-introduce a productive apple orchard in order to grow local fruit sustainably. We have worked hard to establish the resulting trees which are now bearing fruit. We thought it only right to mark the occasion of our first full harvest with a season of apple events.”

With 600 trees producing four varieties of apples, this will be the first full crop for the royal burgh of Falkland, which features prominently in the television series Outlander. Following the initial planting in 2012, early indicators suggest more than 5000kg of fruit will be produced making it one of the largest sustainable orchards in central Scotland.

“The trees should produce a fantastic yield,” noted Kevin Hodgson, manager of Falkland Orchard. “We had a preliminary crop last year that exceeded our expectations, so this year’s harvest with all the trees producing fruit, should be even better. It certainly looks promising.”

He continued: “We have already produced apple sauce from some early fruit falls which have been sold at the Falkland Food Market. The reaction has been great. People like to buy locally produced food because they know it’s fresh and isn’t over-processed. The fact the apples taste great also helps!”

The exciting programme of special events, all of which take place in October, kicking on off on October 5, with an apple chutney-making workshop hosted by professional chef and award-winning food writer Christopher Trotter. There will also be an apple pie making class on October 19 and an apple pressing workshop on October 23. The festival will culminate in a community pick that will encourage local people to collect the remaining fruit from the 2016 season and mark the end of the harvest. The events will take place in the Stables Workshop in the Centre for Stewardship at Falkland Estate.