Yes, it’s apple pressing time again!
And with outdoor gatherings free of Covid restrictions – as long as we’re sensible and don’t breathe down each other’s necks! - I am emboldened to go ahead with my usual apple pressing day here at Llanllowell House next Sunday (October 17th) and an apple pressing demonstration next Saturday (16th) at Usk Farmers’ Market. Clem and Rosa (my daughter and grand-daughter) will be here for the weekend, so it’s a good chance for a catch-up if you haven’t seen them in a while.
Apple Pressing Day at Llanllowell House, Sunday October 17th
You are warmly invited to bring your own apples and pears for juicing here next Sunday from 2pm. Bring your own bottles or pick up a bottle here (plastic for free, glass with screw cap at cost for £1). Go home with your own fruit juice!
Or just come along to see how it’s done.
We will also have an expert on hand to show you how to make cider.
We are not providing lunch, but soft drinks, coffee, tea and biscuits will be available, and – er – lots of apple juice! So bring a picnic if you want to.
The event, as ever, is free. But donations are requested to support Transition Usk - https://www.facebook.com/Transition-Usk-638496852898238/ - helping to promote biodiversity at a time when the UK has just been named and shamed as having the lowest level of biodiversity of any G7 country.
The event will go ahead come rain or shine; if it rains, we can shelter in the open air Coach House (still technically outdoors), and there will be a log fire to keep us warm and dry.
As well as making juice, you can ramble in 33 acres of woods and meadows, with a stream running through.
There is also access on foot to Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Springdale Farm nature reserve next door - http://www.gwentwildlife.org/reserves/springdale-farm - and you’re welcome to explore their woods and meadows.
Parking and wheelchair access are available, but please share a car or ride a bike to keep traffic to a minimum. Give me a shout if you need directions.
Apple Pressing Demonstration at Usk Farmers’ Market, Saturday October 16th
The idea on Saturday is to show how apples and pears can be turned into juice in a matter of minutes, and for you to learn how to do it yourself. It’s very hands on, and kids – as well as adults – are encouraged to turn the press. If you bring your own apples and/or pears, you can make juice to take home on the same day.
You can bring your own bottles to take home, or you can pick up a plastic bottle for free.
What you might want to do is watch the demo on Saturday, and get stuck in with some serious apple and pear pressing on Sunday.
Please note that the Farmers’ Market is now located at the Willows Garden Centre in Usk (https://www.willowsgardencentre.co.uk/) while the Memorial Hall car park is undergoing repairs.
I look forward to seeing you again for my favourite time of year – the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”!
All my best.
Monmouthshire NP15 1LL