I am delighted to announce that the Cambridge Apple Day will be back for its 8th year on Sunday 8th October 2017.
I can hardly believe that it’s been almost a year since the last one. I was also more than a little embarrassed to find that I didn’t update the blog after last year’s event. No excuses, other than it took me a longer than usual to recover after we produced a truly epic 140 gallons of apple juice.
About 15 of those gallons were consumed as lovely, fresh juice; leaving something like 125 gallons to be turned into cider. There’s no getting away from the fact that 2016 was a bumper year for cider production. We also managed to make real progress on batch control and measurement, including experimenting with different yeasts and measuring acidity for the first time. That’s what happens when you have scientists on the team.
I’ll do a separate post on what we learnt and the challenge of processing that amount of cider another day, but for now, I’ll just say that I am very proud of what we’ve achieved. The batches were all good last year, ranging from 5.5% to 6.5%, very dry, and wonderfully fizzy in the bottle.
As always, the part we’ve enjoyed most is giving it away. Volunteers and fruit donors have taken hundreds of bottles away already to enjoy over the summer. There’s lots left, so if you haven’t yet sampled last year’s vintage (or if you’d like some more), pop round and get some.
My favorite donation this year was to Emily & Charlie’s wedding, which we – rather prophetically – branded “Bridemaid’s Ruin”.
Apple day is about juice and cider, but it’s also about community. Basically, it’s a lot of friends, neighbours, friends of friends, friends of neighbours, and neighbours of friends getting together to celebrate the harvest.
Details will follow in the coming weeks. For now, hold the date in your diary, start spotting apple trees for scrumping, and email me to let me know you’re coming.
Dylan (9YO) said to me a few weeks ago that Apple Day was his favorite celebration of the year. Even more so than Christmas and birthdays. His reason? “Because there’s so much juice, so many friends, so much food, and everyone’s just, y’know, happy”.
We hold Cambridge Apple Day in our back garden, so we aren’t really able to open it up to the public. Every year I get an email or two that suggests we should stop calling it “Cambridge Apple Day” unless we’re prepared to open it up to everyone who lives in Cambridge.
Respectfully, I don’t agree, but we are super keen to help anyone who is interested in holding their own Apple Day event in and around Cambridge. We are happy to loan our kit (for a modest donation), provide advice, help out in person, and of course we share everything we’re learning on this blog. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch through the comments or on our facebook page if you’re interested in getting involved.