12th and 13th October 2019
Harvestime 2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Big Apple, a community event celebrating apples, orchards and cider and all the ways in which they have shaped the landscape in one small corner of Herefordshire.
Nine venues in and around Much Marcle will be offering visitors the chance to learn, taste and enjoy. Cider and perry and making will be taking place at all scales from cottage style to fully commercial, and the producers will be sharing their knowledge and offering plenty of opportunities to sample and buy.
An amazing range of dessert and cooking apples will be on display for tasting at the Feast of Apples at Hellens and less well-known varieties can be purchased in the Apple Market. Marcher Apple Network will be on hand to help anyone hoping to identify their own apples.
As part of the 30th celebrations, there will be two talks at Hellens on Sunday 13th October. At 12 noon, local fruit grower, Norman Stanier, will be delving into the early records of the Woolhope Naturalists‘ Field Club to discover the stories behind the famous Herefordshire Pomona. At 2pm, Professor Paul Hadley of the University of Reading will be talking about ‘Apples in a Warmer World’, ongoing research looking ahead to the possible impact of climate change on future UK apple production.
Marking growing international interest in orchards, sustainability and tourism, the Big Apple is proud to be part of Ciderlands, a network of cider tourism destinations across Europe whose aim is to preserve and celebrate the heritage and environment surrounding cider culture. The Ciderlands 2019 conference will be taking place in Herefordshire this week and what could be more natural for delegates than a visit to the Big Apple?
A full programme of events can be found at www.bigapple.org.uk
Deep in rural Herefordshire, Putley is waiting patiently for the blossom to appear as it prepares for the annual celebration of its orchards, which this year will take place on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May. Blossomtime in Putley is centred on a cider tasting in the parish hall, based on entries from the Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials with well over 100 ciders and perries expected to be available to taste.
Together with its surrounding parishes, Putley is famous for its orchards. Visitors can walk through the orchards, taste the ciders, enjoy a home-made lunch or tea – and discover for themselves why orchards are such special places and apples matter to us all. Norman Stanier’s great grandfather Harry Taylor could have told you a thing or two about that. He was the overseer on the Putley Court Estate nearly 150 years ago when acres of orchards – or plantations – were established in the parish. On Monday morning, Norman will be telling the ‘overseer’s tale’ and sharing the secret of ‘Thrown Hat’ cider.
Putley will also be welcoming some special guests. On Sunday morning, authors and cidermakers Susanna Forbes, Gabe Cook and Simon Day will be giving their thoughts on whether Herefordshire has more to learn from, or to give to, the New World when it comes to cidermaking. Talks will take place at Dragon Orchard at 11am. There are also visits to The Juice to learn about the secret life of Pixley Berries, and how their pressing machines are being put to use for cidermaking. And just up the road, Helen and Andrew Riga will welcome visitors to Yew Tree Farm to taste their single variety perries under each of the trees which produced the pears. Dancing from Leominster Morris and music from Fiddlers Two add the final touches to a special countryside experience.
Putley Parish Hall will be open for the Grand Cider Tasting and Teas from 2pm–6pm on Sunday 5th May and from 12–5pm on Monday 6th May.
Full programme details are available at www.bigapple.org.uk