Apple scrumping has started

Just three weeks to go until Cambridge Apple Day 2017 (which is on Sunday 8 October) and the apple scrumping has started.

The first happy scrumpers of 2017

Jane, Kate, and Sarah braved the showers in Cambridge today, taking all five monkeys with them to scrump the apples at one of our favourite spots (Kate’s mum’s house). They brought home a very respectable 6 sacks with a great mix of eaters and cookers.

It is something of a tradition at this time of year for me to declare the apple tump open for business. What’s an apple tump? Basically, it’s a wooden box that we use to store the apples in the run up to apple day.

Apple tump c.2015

This year there is no tump. Why? One of the problems with tumps is that the apples at the bottom tend to be in pretty bad shape by the time Apple Day comes around. In recent years we’ve used sacks to store some of our apple harvest and found that they keep the apples in better condition. So this year, we’re experimenting with storing all of the apples in sacks.

One thing we’ll miss about the tump is the dramatic photographic opportunities, like this one…

With or without a tump, the next few weeks will see happy bands of volunteers running around Cambridge to scrump apples before the big day. Here’s a few tips before you get started:

  1. Ask before you scrump, but don’t be afraid to ask.  Most people with apple trees don’t really know what to do with all of their apples, and you’ll probably be doing them a favour by picking them. If you need an incentive, we’ve got some delicious bottled cider  from last year available.  Come and get a few bottles to give to people to say thanks for the apples.
  2. We take any type of apple. We follow the centuries old recipe for cider making that involves having a great mix of cider apples, eaters, cookers and crabs.  Sweet or sour we want them all.
  3. Windfalls are fine as long as they aren’t from orchards with animals in. While we run all of our fruit through a bath of disinfectant (followed by a fresh water rinse) before pressing, animal poop can carry some seriously nasty bacteria and bugs, so if there’s any risk, leave them out.
  4. Throw away anything with mold on, but a bit of bruising isn’t usually a problem.

If you’ve got access to apples, but need some help scrumping, get in touch and we’ll send out some of our wonderful volunteers to help.

If you can store the apples yourself before the big day, great. Otherwise, feel free to drop them at Phil and Jane’s house. We’ve got lots of sacks here, so either collect some before your scrumping trip, or fill them up when you get here.

Happy scrumping folks.

Pro tip: don’t bite chunks out of the apples you’re meant to be collecting

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