Herefordshire has plenty of reasons to celebrate English apples, orchards and cider and the annual Big Apple weekend offers a special opportunity to enjoy the autumn countryside on the Marcle Ridge. The event is based on eight venues in and around Much Marcle – and cider and perry making will be in full swing! There will be plenty of opportunities to taste, buy and, in some cases, to try your hand. The Big Apple is not only about cider – a ‘Feast of Apples’ at Hellens will feature displays, tastings and sales of some of the less usual dessert and culinary apples, and Marcher Apple Network will be identifying apples throughout the weekend. Herefordshire Beekeepers Association pay a return visit with their Annual Honey Show.
The programme features a number of special events. ‘Common Bond 2’ will see the bringing together of a collection of portraits of nearby cider- and perry-makers, seen through the eyes of their friend and mentor Jean Nowell. This will be a special opportunity to commemorate Jean’s contribution to cidermaking. She was known by many and celebrated for the cider and perry she made at Lyne Down.
On Saturday afternoon, Michael Bentley owner of Castle Fruit Farm will present insights into their sustainable approach to managing a busy commercial fruit farm. Photographs tracing activity in the orchards throughout 2017, taken by Pat Strauss in association with Ledbury Food Group, will be on display.
On Sunday afternoon, internationally renowned cider expert Gabe Cook will present his new book ‘Ciderology’, which contains “anything and everything you have ever needed to know about cider.” Gabe will share his passion for all things cider (and perry!) which began right here on his “home turf” and now extends around the globe. Gabe will also be popping up with tastings at various venues throughout the weekend.
Orchards provide the setting for visits from Leominster Morris and ukulele band ‘Uke Can’t be Serious’. Plenty of home-made food on offer – including apple cake of course!
A full programme of events can be found at www.bigapple.org.uk