Whilst we still have a few apples on our garden tree, we have also taken advantage of nature’s bounty to make a winter favourite - slow gin! On pre-lockdown travels in Dorset we walked along the cliffs rising to Ballard Down to collect sloes, and then later when travelling in Devon we gathered medlars dropped from trees in a Totnes churchyard. So in this past week we’ve started off the Sloe Gin and made medlar jelly. Here’s some pictures, recipes to follow....
.....as people reconsider food production methods, including urban cider’.
That’s according to park ranger at Ealing council, Jonathan Staples, as quoted in The Guardian this weekend. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/23/how-an-orchard-renaissance-could-bring-nature-back-to-uk-cities
The scheme spearheaded by cider maker Hawkes sounds really innovative, meaning fruit previously left to rot is being used productively, raising the value and status of the fruit trees in your own back yard.
Here in Haslemere, we’ve been collecting apples to take to the nearby Garden Cider Company - and look forward to receiving a share of the cider produced in due course.
Who’d have known that the pretty but unassuming Devon village of Whimple was home to acres of apple orchards? Well, we had had a heads up on this info, so we stopped by on our travels between visiting family in Dorset and Devon.
Many of these gloriously-laden fruit trees are owned by Courtney’s, who make cider that we are definitely going to sample very soon..... https://www.courtneysofwhimple.co.uk/mobile/the-orchard.php
Sunday’s BBC Countryfile focussed on the Orchards of South Devon. In a truly lovely piece, which resonated with such warm vibrations, Community Project Officer Nicky Bailey described how:
‘The fruit isn’t the apple, the fruit is the space and the place for people to come together and make that connection with each other and with nature, and I think in recent times that’s been even more important’.
Totally agree. Here’s some pictures of COPSE and community partners doing just that....
Also, find us on instagram - https://www.instagram.com/cop_southeast/
Gareth is an ecologist interested in conserving traditional orchards and heritage fruit, for people and wildlife.