Apple Day 2011

Baking - delicious!
We had a very successful Apple Day on Saturday 24th September.  Wonderful home baking by plotholders and community orchard volunteers sold out. 

 We pressed gallons of apple (and some pear) juice with the help of young and old.  Almost all the fruit we pressed was fallen fruit gathered from plots on our site, so not only were we all drinking delicious juice we were using food that would otherwise have been wasted.

 Loading press with crushed apple.
Ready to be pressed.

Apple Tasting in the pavilion was also very popular.  We asked people on the site to provide us with some apples for people to sample, and we also had a couple of varieties from the community orchard. Even though the trees on the orchard are very young, we had some Fillingham Pippin (a delicious crisp eater) and one very large cooker - Lord Suffield. This is as close as we can get to having a Manchester apple variety. It was created in Middleton and we're very lucky to have a tree as they aren't widely available.  Phil Rainford from the Northern Fruit Group provided us with a scion when we had the grafting workshop in March 2010 after a long search to find somewhere with a Lord Suffield tree.

The Lord Suffield apple was huge - a testament to the advice to thin your crop to get a smaller number of larger apples... I took all but one fruit bud off when they formed and the result was a very large fruit.  Yes, I know that strictly speaking you shouldn't let any fruit form on very young trees, but if you can't locate any trees like the one you have locally, isn't it important to get an idea of what the fruit looks and taste like? 

Its a yellow cooker and everyone who tasted a slice of Lord Suffield said it was a good cooker - the sort that would cook into a delicious puree - and that it was not too tart either, so wouldn't need much sweetening.

Visitors to the community orchard  might have spotted a wonderful "Orchard 49" sign on the shed door, crafted from recycled materials by Trisha Church - thanks, its wonderful.

Thanks also to all the volunteers on the day, the bakers, the cleaners and gleaners for making the event such a success.

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