I’ve started to review the kit for Apple Day. It’s all looking good so far, but I have a lingering concern about the scratting arrangements.
If you were there last year, you’ll remember that we adapted an old garden chipper with a long safety tube to keep fingers away from those whizzing blades (see picture below). All good, but the problem was the need to poke the apples with a stick or garden cane when they got stuck. Effective in getting the scratting going again, but a bit dangerous and at least one volunteer got hit with a flying splinter (thankfully only in the hand – but still, ouch!)
The easy way of solving this problem would be to buy a purpose built machine for scratting apples. They’re pretty expensive though – the cheapest is the Fruit Shark at £420. I got the sense that Dr Janey wasn’t terribly keen on this…
So I’ve been tinkering in the garden and come up with a purpose built tamp.
It fits nice and snug into the feeder and doesn’t get torn up by the blades because its dead flat. I haven’t tried it with the safety tube fitted (I need to make a new one of those first), but I think it’ll work.