Pressing engagement for bumper apple crop

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The Charlotte Straker team with Corbridge First School pupils for an apple pressing session.
The Charlotte Straker team with Corbridge First School pupils for an apple pressing session.
10 October 2017 1:36PM

THESE are pressing times for apple growers. And if you have had a bumper bounty from your fruit trees this autumn, then help is at hand.

It’s Apple Day at Hexham Farmers’ Market on Saturday, when apple expert Ros Nichol will be on hand to try and identify mystery apple varieties that people bring to the market.

It is all too common for people to find an apple tree in their garden without knowing what variety it is, and finding out the variety can help make the most of what people have.

For instance, eating varieties continue to ripen off the tree, but that might not be immediately apparent.

For the best results, people should bring two or three examples of the same variety and Ros will try to work out what that is. There will be a reference collection of around 60 apples from across the north of England for people to look at.

Also at the market, members of Transition Tynedale will once again be demonstrating apple juicing.

Even if the apples are a bit blemished, they can be turned into fantastic juice and it is a lovely community activity. Again, people are welcome to bring their surplus apples to the market to add them to the apples to be juiced.

There will also be an opportunity to get advice about the best way to look after apple trees and which varieties do well in Tynedale.

At Humshaugh, a second weekend of apple peressing will take place at the village hall from 10am to 4pm during the weekend.

Over in Corbridge, the Charlotte Straker Project is asking locals to bring any unwanted apples to the Corbridge Apple Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, from 10.30am to 3pm.

For a small donation to the charity, volunteers will use an apple press to give visitors their very own freshly-squeezed apple juice.

Just bring along any eating or cooking apples and clean bottles or containers for your juice. Recipes for cider, jams and chutneys will be available, and coffees and teas will be served.

Pupils and teachers from Corbridge First School got a sneak preview of the project’s apple press during a visit to Charlotte Straker House for an Apple Day last week.

The children had a great time helping to squeeze the fruit and learnt all about the history of apple pressing and how to turn the juice into chutneys and jams.

The Year 4 pupils sang harvest songs for the residents and took a large bottle of apple juice back to their classroom.

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