Mike Shortland is the owner of Rull Orchard and spent his whole working life was in demolition until, one sunny late autumnal morning three years ago, he realised he needed a change. He wanted to grow, not tear down. Create, not destroy.
So he left his job and bought an 8-acre field in Mid Devon near Tiverton. He had no clue as to what he was getting himself into except turning his hobby into a small business and working with nature.
He has since planted a new 300+ fruit and nut orchard – apples and pears were an obvious choice but also medlars, mulberries and quinces – and he now makes a range of awesome orchard products, juices and ciders and something called ‘Pomological’ – a cider aged in a rum barrel until it’s rich, sweet and decadent and makes a perfect gift. It can be shared with a cheese board at Christmas and it’s particularly good with a mature crumbly cheddar or a Dutch Gouda.
After quite a journey, Mike is incredibly proud to announce that, this month, Rull Orchard was chosen as the ‘Best Rural Small Business in the South West’!