Apple Day 2017 squeezed the people in

9th October, 2017
by Julian | 3 Min Read
Share with friends


This year's Apple Day at The Sharpham Trust may have been the busiest yet, with more than 800 people participating and more than 700 litres of delicious juice pressed.

Local people were invited to bring their own apples to press - and they certainly did that.

"We had so many people bring apples - we had a bumper lot of juice with what people brought. It was really good," said the Trust's gardener Jesse Hammond.

"People were really appreciative and there were lots of people and their kids helping out with the pressing," he added.

The Trust is a charity that has worked to connect people with nature & themselves since 1982 through a programme of mindfulness retreats, courses and nature events.

The charity operates a 550-acre estate on the banks of the River Dart, 3 miles out of Totnes. Part of that estate includes orchards planted with a variety of apple, pear and plum trees, so Apple Day gives the Trust an opportunity to press up juice that can be frozen and served to retreat participants and guests year-round.

"Apple Day is great for us because it really demonstrates how we can connect to our food and the land where it grows," said Maya Herbolzheimer, Sharpham Trust's event and volunteer officer.

"And while we're pressing our own juice, we can be pressing apples from our visitors too," she said.

Many visitors to Sharpham's Apple Day arrived with bags of apples that were washed, then passed through the 'scratter' to be mashed to a pulp. This pulp is then packed into the apple press, a giant screw is tightened on top, and the mush is squeezed until fresh juice runs out into buckets.

About 720 litres of fresh apple juice were pressed just from apples brought in by the public. There are still about 3 tonnes of Sharpham apples to juice.

The apple press used was supplied by Orchard Link - an organisation that provides the tools for community orchards to function.

Visitors and Sharpham Trust volunteers worked the press, while other activities including apple-themed games, crafts and storytelling took place in Sharpham's gardens.

*If you'd like to get involved at The Sharpham Trust, there are volunteer groups working on the Estate every Tuesday and Thursday. For more information about volunteering, contact Maya on [email protected] or click here for more details

Sharpham fan Kevin Pyne couldn't make it to Apple Day this year but he composed this poem in honour of apples everywhere:

The apples of autumn
With the first winds
Of a late September day
Fall to the ground
Where then so many
Must lay

We are all of us apples
Who fall to the ground
Some of us luscious
Others misshapen
While some are perfect
Scrumptious and round

Some go for cooking
To be wrapped around
With flour
Some are juicy sweet
Others are and can’t be
Anything but sour

Apples for cider to be
Pressed and pulped
Liquid lightning to be
Slowly sipped
Lethal if downed or
Far too quickly gulped 

We make us chutneys
Or purees
Each intended to keep
So as we might open up
Summer from a jar
In winter when all of
Nature so sleeps  

I am an apple as are
Indeed you
So let us be bitten for
I am smitten and ready
This winter to cuddle up
And stay fresh with you