We have an old Cider Orchard at Denbury I suppose…

May 19, 2010 in webcams by MrFarmer

We have an old Cider Orchard at Denbury. I suppose you could count the number of trees in the orchard on two hands. The trees are old. In the 18 years we have been at Denbury we have done nothing to them, They need a lot of pruning but they always produce a great amount of apples.

Until about three to four years ago the orchard was the home of our Wild Boar we kept until they started to dig their escape under the fencing. An orchard is a great home for Pigs and Wild Boar who keep them tidy with their rooting and eating the surplus apples. We only ever used a few of the apples for ourselves and the Horses. Last year we were able to crush some and feed to the Emu. The Badgers make a meal of the windfalls but there are still a great amount that are left to rot on the ground.

Unfortunately once the Wild Boar had learnt how to get out of the orchard there was no way of keeping them in. They rooted up our pastures and on a few occasions they made their way to the Village, that didn’t go down very well with one of our neighbours who’s garden they rooted up. The rooting wasn’t that bad, just a very newly dug area that had been just planted. None of the plants were damaged until our neighbour decided to throw a wobbly and picked one of the plants up and threw it on the ground protesting that it was ruined. I couldn’t resist telling them it was now. So the Wild Boar had to go. Contrary to what you may hear about Wild Boar they are no more dangerous than any other type of pig. I found them more placid than other pigs and we found them a pleasure to keep.

The Orchard without the Wild Boar is now overgrown with weeds and looks an eyesore so I have decided to use the Orchard for what it was intended and make cider. Better still being that October is not one of our busier months we are going to offer cider making holidays. Watch out Diane, Vicky, John and David, and of course Margaret and Marie, regulars to Denbury I have some work for you. Mind you drinking all you can and taking a gallon or more home with you will make it worth while.

We have a small Barn that will be ideal for the Cider making and I have purchased an Antique Cider Press. Trouble is it is in France. Takes some believing that I have to drive to France to purchase a Cider Press when we live in Somerset
the home of Cider. The Press I have purchased is a lot nicer than the traditional Somerset Presses and will fit well into our Barn. Those I have seen locally, and believe me they are very hard to find are being sold for stupid money. In the main they are very big and in very poor condition. They will need to be kept outside because of their size. Not a good idea to be making Cider in the Autumn outside. Today I had four very large wooden Brandy barrels delivered for storing the Cider when made. That of course if there is any left to store.