With so many sitting back and waiting for others to step forward and save the world, coming across Broadlands Orchardshare community orchard was like … well, it was like the  taste of fresh apple juice. Back in2 2005/2006, a bunch of volunteers concerned about the obvious decline in Somerset’s orchards, got together  to do something about it. They’re also determined to do something about the growing dependence on imported apples while local fruit wastes away on the trees, unpicked and unused.

On the second Saturday of every month, volunteers meet at the 11-acre orchard, home to some 1100 apple trees. The work crews prune the trees, clear weeds and brambles, restore parts of the orchard that has been overgrown, and plant more trees. They even hold classes in tree pruning, earth-oven cooking, and willow weaving.

I caught up with them at the Farmers Market at Green Park in Bath a couple of weeks ago and watched them press some fresh apple juice.  I’m not a great lover of apples or apple juice at the best of times, but this I liked. The whole process was so simple – I want to find a press and bring one home to my dad – think of what we could do with our own apples.

It’s an ideal family day out – the kids would enjoy themselves as much as the adults. And in a world where technology is increasingly robbing us of any sense of achievement we might have at actually doing something real, it must be nice to pick, peel, and press the apples and then to literally enjoy the fruit of you labour. Does anyone know of any similar things in Hungary?


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3 Responses

  1. I’m tempted to think that this could be set up in my ex-vineyard! But do you have to peel apples for this purpose? Won’t a daráló do enough before pressing? Or is that what I see in the bottom picture?

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