Waste not, want not: Apples for cider popular exchange scheme

Waste not, want not: Apples for cider popular exchange scheme

Fowey Valley Cidery in Lostwithiel has reinstated its popular apple swapping scheme for the 2023 harvest, inviting local people to add their excess apples to this years’ pressing in exchange for award-winning apple juice or cider.

Owner Barrie Gibson says it’s generally been a good year for apples, with high volumes and good quality expected, and local gardeners and smallholders may be left with a glut of useful fruit.

He explained: “Everyone hates to see waste so, as we’ve done in previous years, we’re inviting people to bring along their excess apples, contributing towards our premium juices and ciders.”

He added: “With donated apples we usually end up with a good blend of sweet, sharp, and traditional cider apples, which happens to work very well with our own orchard mix in making up our Castledore cider.”

Barrie, who founded Fowey Valley Cidery in 2012, will only take apples from trees which haven’t been sprayed with pest-eradicating chemicals, and he also has some advice for getting the most out of the harvest:

“Don’t pull the apples off the trees, shake them off instead. The apples will only fall off the tree if they are fully ripe. We’ve had a good run of warm sunshine in September so that will have helped turn the starch into sugars, allowing the harvest to start in earnest around about now.”

Donated apples can be supplied in any container, but Fowey Valley do have string sacks available for anyone who wants them.

Donations can be exchanged for apple juice or cider at the Lostwithiel site, with quantity determined by the weight of apples contributed.

Barrie says: “The exchange is a win-win, as we get some great apples for our pressing, and in return local people enjoy our delicious juice and cider for free, with minimum effort required. However, it’s also a great way for us to build knowledge of local cultivars and have conversations with people about their apple trees. There are many historic and rare varieties of Cornish apples which are sadly dying out. If this exchange encourages people to keep their trees and understand a little more of their value, we’ll have done our bit in preserving an important aspect of our local heritage.”

Cider making courses are also available for anyone who’d like to have a go at producing their own on a budget; participants craft their own gallon of cider to take home and ferment, with everything provided.

Barrie and the team will be pressing from mid-September to early November, and the production facility and shop on the Restormel Estate in Lostwithiel is open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Find out more at www.foweyvalleycider.co.uk, and if you have questions about supplying apples contact Barrie on 07707 049907.