Autumn is here in full-swing and it’s that wonderful time of year when apples are hanging in the trees and scattered around the ground in abundance. Apples are a wonderful and often underrated fruit. They come in so many different colours, flavours, and textures, and can be turned into all manner of tasty treats.
Incredible Edible community garden groups up and down the country have been hosting Apple Day’s throughout October, inviting the public to bring apples, pick apples, press apples, and sample apple-based treats. It’s all about coming together to celebrate and turn the harvest into something special.
Incredible Edible Totnes hosts an Apple Pressing day annually which attracts many visitors, and this year the day was organised in partnership with Totnes Climate hub. Volunteers harvested several large crates of apples from three community orchards in Totnes, and hired apple pressing equipment from the Devon-based voluntary organisation, Orchard Link.
Once the team were up and running turning apples into beautiful juice, many passers-by came along to get stuck in. Paul, one of the volunteers, says that the reason people love Apple Pressing day is that it is so hands-on; “First there is the scratting (turning apples to pulp by feeding them into a giant blender) and then the magic of pressing apples in a traditional press. There is such a sense of wonder on the faces of adults and children alike, as they wind down the press and see apple juice flowing out at the bottom”. Over 120 people came along to enjoy some juice, and it was a great opportunity to get people thinking about locally grown produce.
300 miles away, in Manchester, Incredible Edible Prestwich and District held their own Apple Day. Despite some early morning rain, several hundred people of all ages came along to celebrate the humble apple and join in with the festivities. The group hosted games for young children including ‘the apple shy’, ‘the longest apple peel’, and ‘find the golden pip’. Meanwhile, a hard-working team of apple pressers juiced box after box of locally collected apples, turning them into tasty juice. It was a perfect compliment to the produce on offer; chutneys, jams and a wide range of apple-based cakes and sweet-treats all made by volunteers as well as some hot foot to keep people toasty, until the sun made an appearance at the end of the day.
There are still Apple Days happening around the country, but to get the best of the season, why not pop a note in your diary for late September next year as a reminder to seek out events in your local area celebrating the wonderful, humble apple!