Cider season!

What a wonderful weekend it has been, picking apples and making cider. There are many signs that Autumn is now with us in the west country and one of them is the apples ripening on the trees. This weekend I was happily invited to join some friends at their farm near Bath as they prepared to bring in the apple harvest and turn the fruit into the very special beverage that is cider. As a social activity it is great and it was brilliant seeing everyone working together to bring in the haul. It has certainly been a good year for their orchard and many of the branches were hanging low, overladen with fruit.

Left: Stowford Manor Farm; Right: JJ, our friend from Mozambique, picking apples

The pressing took place on Sunday and after putting all of the equipment together (this took a little while and it needed to be adapted as we went!) and sterilising the fermentation vessels, we were ready to begin crushing and juicing. The five of us eventually generated an effective production line with some of us chopping apples, some crushing and some juicing. I’m not sure we would have been much good on a professional cider factory line but it was good enough for us. One thing that was particularly striking was the variety in colours of the juice from the different apple varieties. One came out closer to black than anything else! Nonetheless, I am hopeful that it will taste good once fermented and ready for drinking in a few weeks time. Thank you Anna and family for a wonderful weekend!

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