Almost but not quite – no Big Apple 2020 for Much Marcle

The apples are coming in, the presses are at work, and it’s almost that time when the Big Apple has welcomed visitors to the Marcle Ridge for the past thirty years.  But, sadly, not in 2020.  The event, which was scheduled for 10th and 11th October, has been cancelled.  The community organisation behind the Big Apple had come up with a programme and a delivery plan designed to keep the event within COVID-19 secure guidelines, but the latest changes proved a step too far.  “We’ve been outrun by the virus”, said spokesman Jackie Denman.  “We’d like to thank the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council for their advice and support – they really tried to help us make it happen.  In the end, the decision to cancel was our own.  The timing just wasn’t right.”

Messages of support followed the announcement late last week.  “Everyone agreed that we had made the right decision, but they also took the trouble to tell us that we would be much missed.”

This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards, to see, hear and smell cider being made and to taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar for many people.  Apple growers and cider makers depend heavily on events for sales of their produce, and almost all had already been cancelled.   “We tried so hard to keep the Big Apple going, especially because we were almost the only apple event that was still in this year’s calendar.  We’ve put a special area on our website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2020/, with information about the producers that would have been there, and some ways to get hold of their produce.”  Many familiar Big Apple venues are there, including Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding, Lyne Down, Pope’s Perry, Westons, Dragon Orchard and Jus Apple Juice.

A Poem from Sara-Jane Arbury

The Big Apple has started to plan its events for 2021, including Blossomtime on 2nd/3rd May and Harvestime on 9th/10th October.

Support our local cider makers!

This May holiday weekend should have been the Big Apple’s thirtieth year of running Blossomtime in Putley, but sadly it won’t be happening this year.  This annual opportunity to enjoy the orchards full of apple blossom and to taste many different local ciders, perries and apple juices has become an established part of the calendar in this corner of Herefordshire. 

The new product from last year’s harvest is becoming ready to drink – and there’s no stopping it!  Many craft makers depend on local events and tourism and hospitality businesses to sell their cider, perry and apple juice – and so they are taking a big hit from lockdown. 

This year’s blossom is the start of next year’s cider – but first there is a need to sell last year’s stock.  Normally, Putley Parish Hall would have been heaving with visitors buying cider, perry and apple juice.  The nine producers who had arranged to be there have been working hard to find extra ways to make their drinks available within the licensing laws – whether that is through online orders, local deliveries, click and collect, farm shops and village stores.  

So the Big Apple is supporting them through a special information area on their website at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/blossomtime-2020/.  Many regular Big Apple venues are to be found there including Once Upon a Tree, Gregg’s Pit, Woodredding Farm, Pope’s Perry, Yew Tree Farm and Jus Apple Juice.  And two special guests who each won awards at last year’s Big Apple Cider and Perry Trials: Bartestree Cider, last year’s Champion Perrymaker, and Halfpenny Green Cider, winner of the bottle fermented/conditioned cider.  So please support our local makers.  Take a look to find out how you can get hold of your favourite tipple – or try something new – or better still, try several! 

This piece has been provided by the Big Apple Association

April Recipe – Ginger Simnel Cake with Spring Flowers

I made this rather different Simnel Cake one Easter when our friends were coming to stay and it was voted a big hit with all concerned.  I just hope that with the present odd shopping situation, you will be able to buy all the necessary ingredients.  I won’t be making one this year as we have so much Christmas cake left.  My husband has been on a very strange diet – low fibre – and unable to eat dried fruit.  I make my Christmas cake for him, so there is a lot left!

Slightly different this month as the recipe is on the BBC’s “Good Food” website – use the link below to get to it:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ginger-simnel-cake-spring-flowers

Ginger Simnel Cake with Spring Flowers

Wishing you all a happy Easter, although I realise it will be far from normal.

Full details of the Ledbury Big Breakfast now available

Trumpet Corner Tea Room 2019

Join us for Ledbury’s Celebration of Breakfast over the weekend of Friday 31st January, Saturday 1st February and Sunday 2nd February – the 8th Ledbury Big Breakfast.

19 local venues in and around Ledbury are taking part on one or more days in this event organised by Ledbury Food Group to celebrate our local food and drink producers and retailers and a healthy breakfast. The event takes place at cafes, pubs, hotels, butchers and delis in and around Ledbury.

Again there is lots of choice from the lightest to the heaviest breakfast including eggs in all ways, a breakfast stack, a “fruity oat jar”, homemade baked beans, haddock with muffins, avocado and bacon, cider sausages with trimmings, breakfast baps, marshmallow pancakes, kedgeree, celeriac rosti, a vegan fry-up and locally produced charcuterie. Continue reading “Full details of the Ledbury Big Breakfast now available”

Ledbury Evening Market celebrates Christmas

Ledbury’s new Evening Farmer’s Market ends 2019 with a special Christmas market on Thursday 5th December from 6 to 8pm at the Barn, St Katherine’s, on same night as Ledbury’s Shops Late Night Opening.

As well as the regular stalls, special treats on sale will include chocolates, marshmallows, empanadas, Juneberry Liqueur and a “community” stall with “Big Apple Cider Vinegar” and “Ledbury Heritage Centre” Quince and Medlar Jelly, plus mulled wine and cider too! We will be singing carols at 6.30 and 7pm. Continue reading “Ledbury Evening Market celebrates Christmas”

Ciderlands – Celebrating our Local Cider Heritage

The band’s booked, the pizza’s on order, there’s more than 50 ciders on offer from a dozen different regions – put the date in your diary. On 11th October, Ciderlands @ Museum of Cider is Go!

This festival event open to all – and essential if you appreciate good cider – will show off the museum and its facilities including its latest exhibition “The Art of Women in Cider”.

Cider will be available at the Three Counties Cider Bar with more than 50 ciders on offer from around the world, plus pizza and music from Whose Hands Are These. Continue reading “Ciderlands – Celebrating our Local Cider Heritage”