On Friday my train to work broke down in the station. Despite the guard and driver's best attempts to reboot the train (seriously), it would not budge. I had my bike with me and duly set off down the Bursledon Road, toward Segensworth. En-route I saw a big Pear tree on the roadside that was laden with fruit, my neighbour had recently suggested I check this place out.
On Saturday morning the kids and I got up early to pick some pears before they set off for swimming, it was the start of a very busy day. While the children were sluicing through all their watery lengths, I was lugging all the buckets and bags of fruit (about 120 Kgs) out of the shed and the greasing up the cider press.
After lunch the garden began to fill up with enthusiastic children, all wanting to have a go at turning the mill to grind the apples, or wind the cider press down to crush the pulp and squeeze out the scrumptious juice (is that word related to scrumping?).
There was, admittedly, a massive amount of fruit to process but thanks to the help of friends and families we processed all of those Apples, then added a few freshly picked Pears - the children also bunged a few Blackberries into the mix for good luck.
The juice from the red swimming pool apples always comes out slightly pink and this gave the final juice and delightful amber tint, it also has the very best, gorgeously tangy, sweet/sharp flavour. The children were constantly diving in to slurp down as much as they could before it even reached the bucket, but they truly deserved all they got because we could never have managed to complete the job without them.
The weather was holding out, so we polished the day off with a BBQ that carried on until the Autumnal light faded. The children were scampering about playing and fighting with whatever they could lay their hands on - hopefully they all slept like logs that night, I know I did.
There will be much more Apple picking and pressing fun coming up...
The event will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday October 11th. If you have any spare apples, bring them along for crushing into juice. Octavia Road Open Space is basically a field and wilderness area, so wear suitably robust clothing, wellies etc. This is a free community event, run by volunteers and all are welcome but everyone one is responsible for their own (and their children's) health & safety.