Cider presses are well into action in this corner of Herefordshire, and Big Apple venues are once again standing by to welcome visitors to the Marcle Ridge on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October. The apple harvest is in full swing, and no matter which way you turn in Much Marcle, apples are everywhere! Not to mention pears – perry pears of course.
Nine familiar Big Apple venues, including Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Hellens, Gregg’s Pit and Awnells Farm, alongside regular attractions at Westons Cider, are waiting to welcome visitors to enjoy the orchards, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices. And don’t miss apple teas at the Memorial Hall!
This year’s highlights include giving a hand to press perry pears from the ancient avenue at Hellens Manor, discovering edible hedges, wheeling along with the Big Apple Bike Ride and tasting Jolly G’s Golden Guernsey Goat Milk Ice Cream. The ever popular ‘high-altitude’ tutored cider tastings are back on the Marcle Ridge, with musical interludes from Uke Can’t Be Serious and Leominster Morris. Practical sessions on maintaining orchards and wildflower areas with the traditional craft of scything, tool sharpening, and the chance to buy refurbished garden tools are a ‘must-do’ for those who like to do things for themselves. Talks on ‘Cider Country’, ‘John Philips, Hereford’s Georgian cider poet’ and the search for lost varieties of perry pears round off the programme. Full details of venues and special events, and advance booking where required, can be found at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2022/
The Big Apple is delighted to be working alongside others this year to place apples right at the heart of Herefordshire under the umbrella of Hereford AppleFest.
Secretary, Big Apple Association Ltd.
Tel. 01531 670544
The buds are starting to burst on the apple trees, last autumn’s cider is getting ready to be tasted, and the time is fast approaching for Blossomtime in and around Putley in Herefordshire where the Big Apple has been welcoming visitors for thirty years. Having cancelled this spring event in 2020 and 2021, the community organisation behind the Big Apple is delighted to be able to invite them back again on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 May. “When we were able to hold our autumn event last October, visitors were enthusiastic about the opportunity to enjoy being out and about in the countryside”, said spokesman Jackie Denman. “Our cider and perry community responded so positively when we managed to arrange a delayed Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials in July 2021. Now we can bring it all together again, with a Grand Cider Tasting at Putley Parish Hall, time spent under the apple trees at Dragon Orchard, and one-off events at Court Farm Aylton and Pixley Festival Church. The full programme is available online at www.bigapple.org.uk. We can’t wait to get back!”
As well as opportunities to taste a whole range of entries to the Cider and Perry Trials, cider and perry on sale will include artisan makers Artistraw Cider and Perry, Bartestree Cider, Gregg’s Pit Cider and Perry, Halfpenny Green Cider Company and Pope’s Perry. Highlights include ‘#RethinkCider’, a talk from Jane Peyton, the UK’s first accredited ‘pommelier’ and founder of the School of Booze, and drop-in printmaking with Laughing Betsy, supported by the Elmley Foundation, using ‘kitchen lithography’ and inspired by objects and images on loan from local families associated with cidermaking and apple growing. Three guided walks each day will tell the stories of the orchards in and around Putley – will it be Norman’s Gap, Dorothy’s Delight or Nigel’s Pride? And, of course, there will be the usual delicious lunches and teas (and this time a brunch) provided by local community groups.
Secretary, Big Apple Association Ltd.
Tel. 01531 670544
This coming weekend should have been the Big Apple’s thirtieth year of running Blossomtime in Putley, but of course it won’t be happening. This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards full of apple blossom and to taste many different local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar in this corner of Herefordshire. This time of year sees the new product from last year’s harvest becoming ready to drink – and there’s no stopping it! Many craft makers depend on local events and tourism and hospitality businesses to sell their cider, perry and apple juice – and so they are taking a big hit from lockdown. This year’s blossom is the start of next year’s cider – but first there is a need to sell last year’s stock.
For the past thirty years, the Big Apple has been organising community events to support their local orchards and apple, cider and perry producers. Normally, Putley Parish Hall would be heaving with visitors buying cider, perry and apple juice next weekend. The nine producers who had arranged to be there are working hard to find extra ways to make their drinks available within the licensing laws – whether that is through online orders, local deliveries, click and collect, farm shops and village stores. The Big Apple is supporting them through a special information area on their website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/blossomtime-2020/
Many regular Big Apple venues are to be found there, including Once Upon a Tree, Gregg’s Pit and Woodredding Farm, Pope’s Perry, Yew Tree Farm and Jus Apple Juice. And two special guests who each won awards at last year’s Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials: Bartestree Cider, last year’s Champion Perrymaker, and Halfpenny Green Cider, winner of the bottle fermented/conditioned cider.