As the autumn sunshine melted the early morning frost, the sound of apples and turnips invaded Grimsbury farm, for it’s second annual pressing day.
And what a special day it was.
First, it was fantastic to see so many families arriving with carrier bags full of apples, eager for them to be pressed by the Scrumping project’s ‘big green Juicing machine’ and taste their own apple juice. Children were invited to design and colour in their individual labels, to stick on bottles and take away to enjoy (as the labels says, consume within 3 days !). It was great fun and I’m proud to say the press coped brilliantly, pressing thousands of apples in less than four hours. A big thanks to Cider punk Martin and big Bruce for bringing their scratters and David from the FoGF who manfully kept the press turning all afternoon.
Next we passed 30 litres of Cox and Golden Delicious, apples picked from Mrs Whites Garden in Frampton Cotterall, which I later pasteurized and bottled. This will be sold at our local schools Christmas fete to raise funds for the PTA. We also pressed 10 gallons of Kingston Black to make a single variety cider, a prized cider which hopefully I won’t turn into vinegar. We even pressed grapes, promptly turning the pressing bag a deep burgundy red (check it out on the video coming soon)
It was also a thrill to see visitors having a chance to taste last years vintage ‘Forgotten Fruit’ cider, which we’d pressed almost a year ago to the day. Ok, it didn’t win at the Royal Bath and West show but it got the thumbs up in Warmley, South Glos, where it really counts !.
As usual the brilliant Friends of Grimsbury Farm worked tirerously throughout the day using their giant wooden press and their new hydro press (or the weeping dalek as we named it!) to process hundreds of gallons of juice, pressing for both pear and apple Juice as well as pressing cider for both the farm and the Scrumping Project.
At 1.30 the Surfin Turnips rocked the barn, treating the crowd to punk fueled cider songs, drawing in the crowds and giving us scrumpers the perfect sound scape to do our work. Even the Gloucester Old spots where rocking in their pigsties.
Thanks again to everybody for making it such a memorable day. The Avon wildlife trust laid on some fantastic entertainment for the children and visitors were even encouraged to join in a cookery class to make apple pies and mulled apple juice.
Don’t forget you can buy your own special momento by investing in a limited edition 2010/11 Scrumping Project t shirt, only £8 (fair wear for a better world). All profits help to fund the Scrumping Project.
Keep your eyes on this blog and http://www.orchardeye.com for updates on the cider and I’ll look forward to sharing the finished product with you all in the summer.
I’ll put the video together over the next couple of weeks and post it on you tube and the blog as well as posting more pictures (unfortunately I was so busy with the pressing I only managed to take a few)
Thanks again, great work everybody,