It’s a good year for apples and with his fruit crusher and press set up in the middle of Church Green, Clive Richardson was in much demand on the day before our Harvest Festival.
Bag after bucket of apples was fed, first into the jaws of the crusher,( “Mind your fingers”), and the resultant mix transferred to the press, (“Make sure the bucket’s in place”). With colours ranging from almost white, through yellow to a hint bronze, litre after litre of juice poured from the press and was decanted into clean bottles. All of us had under-estimated just how much juice we’d get from the fruit we’d brought down. Some, lucky enough to have several laden trees in the garden went home to get more supplies. That created a problem when it came to bottling. Thank goodness for empty communion wine bottles, especially appropriate when it came to pressing grapes from the Vicarage vineyard.
Right next to the production line was the canteen. Hot soup and rolls and yes, for dessert an apple, all served by the team who’d been up since dawn preparing for the event. How many other work-place dining rooms have flowers on the tables?
Back in the open air, music while you work was provided by Clive and Canon Chris on guitar, adding to the already convivial atmosphere. Without doubt, this was an event that we should repeat in future years. If global warming continues apace, we’ll be making our own communion wine, Côtes de Whitegate.
PS At Marton Sands we are experimenting, trying to turn 10 litres of our apple juice into cider. Will it be drinkable or not? Watch this space.