Community orchards are so important

Removing apple cores at the Bullfield Community Orchard. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Removing apple cores at the Bullfield Community Orchard. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Friends of The Bullfield Community Orchard, Alnwick, held their annual Apple Pressing Day.

This is an open event and attracted a cheerful crowd, eager to celebrate the bumper harvest.

Set amongst assorted fruit trees, bushes and herbs, there was a marquee, crafts, activities, music and refreshments.

Anyone with surplus apples was encouraged to bring them along with a container and use the mobile facilities to create juice.

At one bench there was a hand-driven apple de-corer. Tables were erected to facilitate the chopping of fruits into sections, before they were ground through a mixer, and several presses demanded energy to deliver the juice.

Having brought the heaviest bag of Redlove Era, the anticipation of what the juice would look and taste like was high. What a pleasant surprise as the juice emerged true to colour and sweeter than anticipated.

Community orchards sound like a good idea, but it’s only when you become involved that you realise their educational, social and environmental importance.

The weather was kind to us that special afternoon, as friend Carl sat playing his guitar and singing in the busy surroundings. Youngsters were eager to press the apples with adults watching over them, more so to taste the juice.