Local people in Bristol with surplus apples in their garden are being urged to bring them down to the Riverside Garden Centre so they can be put to good use. A West Country cider maker specialising in creating drinks using fruit from local orchards will turn them into either 100% natural pressed apple juice or, if enough fruit is donated, a Bristol blend of cider, made only with Bristol’s apples.
In return, anyone donating apples will get a choice of free apple juice or cider as a thank you, as well as having the satisfaction of knowing that their spare fruit has been put to good use.
The scheme is a collaboration between The Riverside Garden Centre of Southville, Bristol, and The Cotswold Fruit Company, a small, family-owned cider-maker based in Gloucestershire. The project was trialled successfully last year, when half a dozen households, including one community orchard, donated apples weighing nearly half a tonne.
This year the team are hoping to put even more of Bristol’s fruit to productive, local, sustainable use, to make more Bristolian apple juice and Bristolian cider and are aiming to double the donations to a tonne of apples – or even more!
David Lindgren, director of The Cotswold Fruit Company said: “Bristol is a city that understands cider, so the idea of using surplus local apples to make Bristolian cider seems right. And this year’s crop appears be a good one, so there may be a lot of people wondering what to do with their spare apples. If so, we have a solution. The small batches of Bristol apple juice and cider we made last year were much appreciated, so we’re hoping we can go further this year.”
David Crossland from the Riverside Garden Centre said: “it’s wonderful that Bristol’s apples can be used to make lovely cider and apple juice.”
How it works:
- First, collect however many 15kg sacks you need from the Riverside Garden Centre, as well as Address Cards.
- Pick apples when they are ripe (the pips are black or dark brown).
- Leave the filled sacks at the Riverside, together with the Address Cards on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
- Your free juice will be left at the Riverside once the apples have been milled and pressed, with a week or two; the Bristol blend of cider will be ready next spring (after the first Cuckoo has been heard in Gloucestershire).
- Depending on how juicy the apples are, you’ll receive one 750ml bottle of apple juice (or the equivalent volume of cider) for every 8 kgs of apples you donate.
- Please only use good quality fruit – the odd bruise or scab is OK but no rotten or partly rotten fruit!
The minimal apple donation required is 8 kgs and fruit is collected weekly, throughout the apple harvest season into late November.