Following on from our successful Apple Day celebration in 2017, we held an Apple Pressing celebration, but brought it forward a month to September due to the excellent Summer we had that had ripened the apples earlier.
The Orchard was in its second year and it had still to be able to produce a harvest, this due to our management policy for the trees which sought to build strong roots for the trees rather than early fruit that would affect the trees further on down the line. There is great wisdom in seeking to ensure a tree has deep roots, which are able to anchor it and produce an abundance of fruit in its season. Thankfully Cliff College were able to let us take the windfalls from their orchard and we loaded up the car with 24 bags of apples and gingerly drove home across the Dales.
The Apple Pressing celebration was a great success, and we are very thankful to Councillor Diana Meale who gave a contribution from her allowance in order that the Friends group could purchase a 20ltr apple press and masher – a step up from the 12ltr one we had borrowed from Mansfield Woodhouse Orchard the previous year.
Overall we managed to have 13 gallons of apple juice left over from the pressing. This was duly brewed into cider which in December we were able to spend a very good evening bottling, labelling and “quality control sampling” :D. All in a wonderful way to celebrate and give thanks for the abundance of the harvest that we’re given each year.