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bodger

More cider musings.

Up until our three day temporary events licence at the weekend, the cider that we've been selling has been a medium dry but right at the last minute, I was persuaded by Rob and Karen to produce a medium to sell at the event. So almost instantly, we went from only having one variety of cider to two.

It turned out to be great idea, as the medium easily out sold the medium dry. The margin was at least two to one if not more. We now need to come up with a name and new labels etc for this new addition to our stable.
sapphire

Orchard Delight?
bodger

We have the chance of an even bigger day of cider sales coming up but its not as simple as that. In my experience, life rarely is.
Our next temporary events licence is for the 10th, 11th and 12th of August and I'm expecting it to be even busier than the last weekend. This time around, we're doing some advertising in the form of posters and I'm having an editorial in the local paper but here comes the complication. I had a call from the organiser of a local music festival last night, to say that they want me to come and sell my cider all day on the Saturday at their event. They would supply the table in a big marquee for mere fifteen quid. I know that it gets very busy there and that I'd sell loads of cider but I can't be in two places at the same time.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Robs playing cricket and things are further complicated by the fact that Doodle is having a small party for her friends at our place on the same day too.
jacquie sullivan

hi

Am I correct that you are selling cider from home, so if you set up an honesty box and put the amount of cider you think will sale. Most people round here do thaat to sell  eggs honey etc. Otherwise you could miss out, not just for the day but for future sales, as you will have a bigger audience.

Jacquie Sullivan
bodger

We're in a holiday area and we have people from all over the place, we'd end up with a lot of happy people and not a penny in the box. Plus we'd be breaking the law with alcohol.
12Bore

bodger wrote:
We have the chance of an even bigger day of cider sales coming up but its not as simple as that. In my experience, life rarely is.
Our next temporary events licence is for the 10th, 11th and 12th of August and I'm expecting it to be even busier than the last weekend. This time around, we're doing some advertising in the form of posters and I'm having an editorial in the local paper but here comes the complication. I had a call from the organiser of a local music festival last night, to say that they want me to come and sell my cider all day on the Saturday at their event. They would supply the table in a big marquee for mere fifteen quid. I know that it gets very busy there and that I'd sell loads of cider but I can't be in two places at the same time.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Robs playing cricket and things are further complicated by the fact that Doodle is having a small party for her friends at our place on the same day too.

Damn, wish I was closer...
kat_lewis

Wish I too was closer as I have personal licence so could have helped out  
jacquie sullivan

Hi

Sorry about the duff info,  It will be a shame for you to lose out, I wish there was a practical solution, if say you went away for a couple of days, who would look after the Animals, that might be an idea, even if you have to pay a pet sitter. Well I  will keep my fingers cross So all the best, and hope that it will work out.

Jacquie Sullivan
bodger

Cheers Jacquie. I've decided to stick with the event at my own place.
bodger

The photographer from the Cambrian News should be along anytime now. The paper is going to do a small article on us and as well as plugging our cider, I'm hoping that it results in some phone calls from people offering us their apples this season. They're going to be in very short supply this year.
12Bore

Don't forget to post a link when they put it in the on-line edition  
bodger

It depends on how photogenic my aging mush comes out.
bodger

We planted quite a few apple trees during the winter of 2008. Amongst them, were eight eating apple trees of a variety called 'Red Devils' Thankfully, they've bucked the trend of many apple trees this year and they've gone on to produce some fruit. Its not a massive crop but its a start and hopefully, they have many productive years ahead of them.














I've also got a crop on my three rows of Kingston Black cider apples. These too were planted in 2008 and usually make a good single variety cider.




kat_lewis

Land, trees, own cider ....... there is no emoticon for wishfull thinking  
Glad to hear you have some fruit. Hopefully the word will spread and you will be inundated with offers of apples  
bodger

Fingers crossed Kat.
bodger

Names to conjour with- I'm afraid that I may very well have fallen in love with the names of some of the cider apple trees that there are out there.

This winter I just about have room to plant another thirty trees, which will take me to just over 200 in total. Thirty more might seem a lot, but it pales to insignificance when you think that some producers will be planting thousands this year. Unfortunately, you can't make space where there isn't any and its be quite a pinch to fit the thirty in.

I've been advised to choose one of two varieties to go with what I already have and these, are either Browns apple or Somerset Redstreak. These are a very practical choice but they have nothing like the allure as some of the apples that I've come across in the catologues and on the internet.
In no particular order of preference, I've found one called Slack ma Girdle, Fillabarrel, Hangydown, Foxwhelp and Sops in Wine. These fantastic names are only the tip of the iceberg, there are many more out there to discover and I'm beginning to feel like a little kid in a sweetshop.

Edited to say that I've just found a Gloucester variety called Shit Smock    
bodger

Apparently, the shit Smock, isn't an apple, its a plum.

I thought that this was hilarious.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/u...rd-back-to-historic-orchards.html
bodger

Although I can get my cider apple trees considerably cheaper elswhere, its the variety that the people have at Adams Apples thats really tempting me. They're still pretty good prices though.
http://www.talatonplants.co.uk/default.asp
bodger

I've placed an order for 25 bare rooted trees this afternoon.

I've gone for

10 x Browns Apples
10 Somerset Redstreak
1 Fillabarrel
1 Foxwhelp
1 Hangydown
1 Slack ma Girdle
1 Sops in Wine

All on 106 rootstock for delivery this winter. They should usefully fill a little piece of space that we have.
Mo

I've enjoyed this little debate you've had  

Good luck with them all - look forward to seeing the various fruits.
bodger

I should be picking apples later this week. After having had a write up in the local paper, in which I asked people to phone me if they had any apples that I could have, I've had two phone calls. I've no idea as to what varieties or quantities are concerned but anyway, it'll be nice to be back in harness.
12Bore

Sounds promising.
bodger

This year is going to be a poor year all round for apples but I do have one variety in my orchard that has bucked the trend. While all the trees around them are virtually bare, my Kingston Black cider trees have a heavy crop of fruit on them. I have 25 of them that were planted as maidens during the winter of 2008. I've checked them out again this afternoon and some of the branches are so heavily laden, that I've had to prop them up to avoid them snapping.
Most ciders are made up from a variety of different apples blended together, either at the time of pressing, or by blending different ciders after they've fermented. The Kingston Black however, is one of the few varieties of cider apple that's recognised as being suitable for making whats known as single variety cider and this, is exactly what i'm going to do. I'm Hopeful that I should have enough apples to make at least one barrel, if not two and I can hardly wait to give it a try. I'll will have to hold my horses until at least October though, which is when the book says that they'll be ready for picking.

All in all, despite the tribulations of a poor apple harvest, things are looking interesting for the coming cider season.

Whilst researching the KB single variety cider, I came across an interesting blog.

So you want to be a cider drinking expert? I know that I'd like to be. Well here's a extremely useful bit of kit to help you on your way.

http://ciderpages.blogspot.co.uk/p/index-of-reviews.html

Now thats the sort of homework that I'd really like to have.

I'd hate for him to try my cider just yet, but who knows, maybe one day.
bodger

I did myself a good turn today. After the sale of cider last weekend, there was a barrel with some cider left in it. Well cider in a barrel, once its been opened wont keep, so I thought that I'd give a drop or two away to friends and neighbours.
One of my calls, was to the local garden centre and I got talking to the owner there. Apparently, although there's lots of people about in August, its always a quiet time for garden centres. The bedding and veg plants have been sold and its generally a slack period. As a result of our conversation, next year we're going to have a joint apple day. He'll be promoting his apple trees, there'll be lots of apple pies  from his cafe etc and I'll be selling my cider and apple juice. It sounds like a good plan to me.  I must pencil it in for next year.
12Bore

Nice networking  
bodger

I've somehow managed to find space for a further 30 apple trees, so later on today I'll be back on the phone to Adams Apples. I've been like a little old woman trying to make my mind up as to which varieties to get but after changing my mind goodness knows how many times, I've finally decided on the following.

10 Brown Snout.
10 Major
5   Chizel Jersey
5   Stoke Red

If anyone fancies a weekend away by the seaside, we'll be having a tree planting session after Christmas and you'd be most welcome.
12Bore

Hmmmm....
bodger

Thats a yes then Joe.

Adams apples have been on the phone to me and as a result, I've replaced the Chizzled Jerseys and the Stoke Red with ten Tom Putts.
12Bore

I'll tell (my) Karen later
12Bore

She agreed!





Hmmm, what's she planning...?
bodger

You're both guarenteed a warm welcome and a good time.
bodger

Kingston Blacks.
In our orchard, we've got twenty odd something Kingston Black cider apple trees that we planted back in the winter of 2008 and this year, they've proven to one of the few successes of the season.

http://www.talatonplants.co.uk/ShowDetails.asp?id=165

They are one of the few trees that have cropped for us this year and for the last two or three mornings, I've noticed that they've started to fall. This means that this coming weekend, we'll be picking them ready for pressing into cider. They will be our first crop of any sort from our own orchards and I'm looking forward to turning them into a single variety Kingston Black cider. This variety of cider apple comes with an extremely good reputation and if all goes well, it should go on to make a cider that should be a bit special.
CasperF

funding

Hi Bodger,

I've been following your cider journey for a while now...very inspirational!

Just wondered if this was a venture that you financed yourself or did you get any support from the local cider groups or authorities? Was thinking along the lines of stewardship schemes?

I'm attempting to plant a cider orchard myself and need to plant some new hedges and acquire some heritage apple varieties. There's funding available, but only for non-commercial ventures. I hope to provide good scion stock and education for the community but ultimately produce cider for the local market.

I think it may be a case of funding myself!
bodger

Welcome to the forum Casper.

We've bought all the equipment and the trees that we've planted out of our own pocket, however for the last couple of years, we have been members of the Welsh Cider and Perry Society. This organisation has had funding from the government to help them promote the industry throughout Wales and we've been able to take advantage of this. We've been on a number of extremely useful and helpful courses which have been 75% subsidised.
CasperF

Cheers for the info!

Alas, no cider group where I am, so I'll be digging deeper into my pockets I think.

Still, there's a certain satisfaction I'm sure you'll agree when you've started up something off your own back and made it into a successful enterprise.

Regarding your trees, which would you say were providing the best apples for cider? I know we've had a shocking year and so not many apples around though you say your Kingston Blacks were cropping well.


Are you still keeping your online story going here? http://forum.downsizernet/about41...=3bf1e462524e3fb0f193e3f13a0034f7
bodger

No not really. I'll probably do an update when I plant some more trees early in the new year.
Kingston Blacks aren't the easiest of trees, so I've perhaps had a bit of beginners luck with them.
I can certainly point you in the right direction so that you don't have to pay silly money for your trees. All my trees so far have come from the Frank Mathews nursery in Tenbury at just less than 5.00 each and this year, I'll be paying 7.00 from Adams apples.
CasperF

Adams apples are great, I've planted a small orchard using them before. All one year maidens and now 5 years on they're healthy strong trees, very impressed!

I've heard of Frank Matthews, I think he's up near your way, I recall they produced a Trees For Life catalogue recently and 5 pounds seems like a good deal.
bodger

They're the biggest nursery in the UK but when it comes to cider apples, they don't have the variety that Adams apples have. I bought my last apples from Mathews two or three years ago and paid wholesale prices.

To hedge my bets alittle , the next planting that I do will be of five varieties.
Gareth

One for you to consider for Christmas 2013 is seasonal cider(s).

The commercially produced Aspall's Mulled Cider sold extremely well here in Norwich, and in the rest of Norfolk. Every Bar, pub and licensed music venue we have been to in the last month has been serving hot Mulled cider at 2.50 per half pint (or slightly more) and they have all sold out to the point of refilling the vessel. Several pubs had the Lidl's 27 litre electric fruit preserver/jam maker come tea urn filled with mulled Cider and were selling upwards of 100 litres per night.

Other venues had taken the smaller more varied approach by providing more choice using very large slow cookers; I guess about the 10 to 12 litres size, but were offering several flavours of hot cider; Vanilla, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, citrus zest, even a chilli & garlic..... and all were selling extremely well.

Would it be worth making and bottling say about 100 litres of a "Bodger's Christmas Special" for next year?
Gareth

Oh, and I forgot to add that virtually all of them were also selling a hot mulled apple juice for the teetotallers and designated drivers among us.

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