This year’s community apple pressing service– you won’t believe how many apples we pressed!
We’ve tested it, and we can now officially confirm that there is no limit to the people of Pembrokeshire's enthusiasm for apple juice.
Over the last couple of months, as part of CARE’s Fruit and Bounty project, we have been out running community apple pressing events every weekend and quite a few days in-between too.
Together with a team of wonderful volunteers, and more local volunteers in every spot we visited, we’ve juiced from Walwyn’s Castle to St Dogmael’s and from Letterston to Tegryn.
We’ve been to schools, country parks, community halls and orchards. Sixteen community events in total.
And wherever we went, you just kept on coming with those apples.
Sometimes you came with a few apples in a bag carrier bag, picked that morning from the tree in the garden. Sometimes it was a van full of apples, with plans for some serious cider-making.
If there is a phrase that captures the experience of community apple juicing, it’s probably “That much juice? I’d better go and get some more bottles…”
Almost no one brought enough bottles for the juice they got, because most people don’t realise just how much juice is hidden inside a fresh apple. Helping people to find that out is one of the many great reasons we do this.
But every single person loved the taste of the freshest, most locally-grown juice you can get.
In total, the 2022 CARE community apple juicing service pressed no less than 6.7 tonnes of apples. That’s around 45,000 apples (not that we counted them!).
If you stacked them up, they would reach higher than Wyddfa (Snowdon).
From that flowed an impressive 3,732 litres of fresh, healthy juice. That’s 11,800 pints. Enough to fill the equivalent of over 20,000 coke cans.
By now, a lot of it will have been drunk. Some of the rest of it is frozen for drinking later, or it’s turning slowly into cider, or becoming apple cider vinegar. In one or two cases, there are even plans for apple wine.
Perhaps even better, fruit that might otherwise have gone to waste has been put to good use, and people young and old from all over Pembrokeshire have been reminded of just how abundant our wonderful, home-grown fruit trees are.
Well done Pembrokeshire.
And here’s a nod to our fine apple trees that did the real work for us.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.