Cider and juice all made

I've been very dilatory about updating what's been going on. I will make this a little general overarching post which I will add to subsequently.

The campaign this year wasn't very long. Apples became ripe much earlier than in the last two years (which were late harvest years), and we had so many offered that, sadly, we weren't able to use anywhere near all that we could have done. Very disappointing! I don't like to see waste.  Trees like the ones below at Bruton School for Girls did get harvested but others were not. For harvesting these trees I had the assistance of some members of staff and a lot of the students!

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Once harvested we take everything back to our base where all the juicing is done. The space available is a little cramped, but we make it work. Crates are unloaded, apples washed, the pulping mill started up (it's very sharp bladed and fast) and the process begins. Once we have the pulp, everything goes into the hydropress. This takes six large buckets of juice per press. The central bladder is expanded by water pressure squeezing the juice through the outer neoprene and aluminium exterior which are both sieves. The juice then is pumped either into an overhead tank when we are doing apple juice, or directly into fermentation tanks for cider.

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Apples in the holding water tank being washed, and below, Oliver pouring apples into the juicer. The buckets of pulp will be next into the press (with the orange lid).

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Patrick, above, minding the pasteurisation process where every bottle is taken to over 73C. Then they are washed and dried, caps applied (as Harry is doing below) and labelled.

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So, here it is!  The juice made and ready for more happy drinkers.  You can, of course, come and get it from Southdown in Shepton Montague, or order online. For very local or for larger quantities, delivery is possible. Please contact us.

Organic v non-organic apples

I've come across the most amazing book. It's called "The Invisible Power Within Foods". But, surely all foods are the same, albeit they are produced by differing methods? No! What this book does is highlight to all of us the invisible energy contained within foods, and how certain production methods can decimate that.

You could better understand what they are trying to do by reading their "forward".  this isn't a box that's been rushed to produce, as it's taken them over 30 years to get to the position where they can publish. When the author tried to get support from the Swiss authorities, they showed interest but (eventually) dismissed it on the basis that it wasn't accepted by "mainstream science". The conclusion was that they would have to do the work themselves, but that has taken a long time to materialise. We are incredibly indebted to people like this who dedicate themselves to getting the information we need.

The pages cover a multitude of common vegetables, grains and more, with the photos taken showing the beautiful organised way in which nature assembles plants, and that awful alternative disorganised chaos when artificial chemicals and fertilisers become involved.

So, let's look at the apple. You make your mind up which one you would be happiest to eat, or drink the juice from. One has clear life energy, the other simply doesn't. As ever, remember, you are what you eat or drink.

Here are two stunning close-ups, the first is the non-organic apple, and the second is an organic apple. I doubt you'll find these photos on the supermarket shelves illustrating the difference between the products they are selling. But with this information, you can make your own mind up.  I know which apple juice or cider I would like! 

Chaotic inorganic apple

Chaotic inorganic apple

Organised symmetry in an organic apple.

Organised symmetry in an organic apple.

Summer bliss

We've been through the blissful springtime blossom, and trees heaving with bees buzzing, and now the apples are quietly growing.

The new trees don't have many apples, and will be thinned (or where small trees) all removed to ensure the tree itself grows.

We've also had lots of attack from deer! Much as I am sure everyone loves Bambi, I have reservations when their numbers are swelling, and then they meander into the new plantation and nibble off the tops of the young trees!  Once that has happened, unless the tree is resolute and can put up a new strong leader shoot, it will instead need replacing next winter. That means needing to ensure the replacement is the same variety as everything is in blocks to aid many harvests to come, and juice and apple differentiation.

The bar has been travelling to shows and markets! It's been really inspiring to hear many people offer praise with every glass of juice or cider drunk!  It has also resulted in a number of people ordering it for their shops or catering businesses.  Wonderful!

Do give a call (01749812652) or email if you have an event where you think we could be a positive addition. info@applesjuice.co.uk

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Apples - One the top 5 fruits for juicing

Here is a great little piece from Liz Earle Wellbeing. She quotes the five best juices there are for juicing.  These include grapes, melons, oranges and pineapples, but valuably there is only one which principally comes from the UK. 

"Apple juice is a wonderful cleanser, great for weight-loss diets and useful as an all-round general tonic. It also mixes well with most other juices and can help thin out strong-tasting juices, such as beetroot, or thick juices such as prune and strawberry. The harder, crisper varieties are the best fruits for juicing but all apples are good sources of pectin, tannic acid and malic acid, which help remove toxins from the intestines and regulate the bowel. Their potassium and phosphorus content help keep the liver and kidneys working healthily and the skin looking fresh and clear, and as a good source of beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, together with vitamins C, K and magnesium, they can also help ward off colds and infections."
I saw this on her Twitter feed @LizEarleWb

I'm just pleased to think about all those apples picked in October and November, and our harvesting their excellent juice which you can enjoy all the year round! To check out how you can do this, simply, take a look at the shop page. Thank you.