It’s official. December was the warmest since records began in 1910. It was also one of the wettest. This unseasonable weather put our schedule for picking and processing apples in a constant state of flux. We began picking dessert fruit to press for apple juice a good three weeks earlier than in previous years. By the middle of December, cider apples, that last year we were harvesting in January, were already beginning to rot on the ground. Despite this, we bottled nearly three thousand litres of apple juice and our first batch of cider is fermenting nicely.
Cider is one of the oldest fermented beverages in the world. No-one knows when cider production first began, but it has provided humans with a safe drink for centuries.
Regular readers of this blog and twitter account will be aware that Orchard Origins fully supported CAMRA’s call to parliament to appeal against an EU proposal to end the small cidermakers’ duty exemption, and in Tuesday’s budget George Osborne announced that it will be retained. This excellent news at it means that those of us who make fewer that 7,000 litres of cider per year remain exempt from paying duty. Continue reading
Cider has been produced on these shores for centuries – in fact longer than any other alcoholic drink. In the last decade, there has been a resurgence in cider-making with many small artisan producers entering the market. The National Association of Cider Makers estimates there are about 480 active cider and perry makers currently in the UK. An EU ruling could force many of the smaller operations to cease production. In its wake, it will also hasten the demise of our traditional orchards and the important natural habitats they support. Continue reading
Orchard Origins is running a series of apple juice and cider making courses.
They are one day practical courses that will equip you with all you need to know to make your own delicious and unique apple juice or cider.
At the end of the day you will take away your own blend of cider or juice to share with family and friends.
The cost of the course is £50 and runs from 10a.m. till 4p.m.
Courses and Dates
Apple juice production: 11th September and 2nd November 2014
Cider production: 13th and 23rd November 2014
Apple juice and cider production: 5th and 16th October 2014 and 24th January 2015
For bookings and further information please contact Julia or Laurence at
email@example.com or call 01432 356872
Orchard Origins has been busy getting ready for the Spring Greens Fair on 3 and 4 May at Court of Noke, Staunton-on-Arrow, Herefordshire HR6 9HW. The Orgasmic Cider company kindly allowed us to use their bottling and pasteurising equipment for a day so that we could bottle our own cider.
The Spring Greens Fair is a great day out for all the family. You can watch demonstrations of traditional crafts, listen to live music and poetry, sample freshly prepared food and drinks or just stroll around the beautiful grounds. Orchard Origins will be running the cider bar on both days, so come and enjoy our craft cider and apple juice in this magnificent setting.
In April, we will be adding three initials to the end of our name. Becoming a C.I.C or Community Interest Company is an important milestone for Orchard Origins. Since we launched two years ago with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme, it has been our goal to become a social enterprise. So what does it mean?
Orchard wassailing has been taking place for centuries. References to this ancient custom can be found in texts dating back to the 14th century. In the last few years, it has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the West Country, and the cider and perry orchards in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. Continue reading