The apples are dropping all over the garden, weighing on both my lawn and my conscience. This year I will not let them rot but am doubtful that my family is up for an apple pie eating marathon. Turning them to juice seems the obvious option.
After an exhaustive search my neighbour finds a Community Apple Press in a quiet corner of Henstridge called Quiet Corner farm. As we pull up the drive we pass orchards full of fruit with trees over 200 years old. We find Patricia Thompson, the owner, busy with her chickens. She is a spritely octogenarian who not only instructs us on how to use the equipment but works effortlessly alongside us.
The apple press is situated opposite a paddock where two dark eyed shetlands eye us up with interest as we unload crates of apples. Their expressions remind me of my children in a sweet shop. We wash and then crush the apples before we press them. Delicious juice runs out which we bottle and pasteurise. We took over 75kg of apples and produced 57 bottles of apple juice. The whole exercise took 3 hours. It’s hard work but the reward is delicious home grown and made juice. Patricia was so impressed with my neighbours blend she suggested it be entered in the Bath and West Show.
If you would like to get your apples pressed at Quiet Corner Farm it is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am. You need to book by telephoning 01963 363045. You need at least 80 lbs/36 kgs apples and 20 screw top bottles.