Posts Tagged Blackdown Hills Transistion Group

Blackdown Hills Transition Group Apple Day

The first of 3 Apple Days was held today at Otterhead Lodge, by Otterhead Lakes.  We were so lucky with the weather, it was the most glorious sunny day, in marked contrast to earlier in the week when it rained like no tomorrow.

People brought along their apples to be crushed and pressed into juice.  The first stage is to feed the apples into a crusher which produces apple pulp.

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The pulp is then put into an apple press which produces the juice. It’s inevitable that you get sticky in the process but who minds when you are producing lovely fresh apple juice.

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The next stage is bottling the juice.  Unfortunately the apples oxidise very quickly and turn brown so the resulting juice is brown in colour but it tastes really lovely.

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Also today we had some musical entertainment from “Slapjack” a duet of guitar and violin.  They played beautifully and were a lovely sound in the background.

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There was delicious apple cake and other goodies on sale, together with hot mulled apple juice, tea and coffee etc.  As it was such a nice afternoon lots of people turned out and many brought bins full of apples to press.  If you bottle into plastic bottles you can freeze the juice, or if you prefer you can bottle into glass bottles and then pasteurise it by heating it up.

We just had some Bramley Apples to take along, but they make a lovely tart juice.  So now we have to work out how to fit some of the bottles into the freezer, which is already full of stewed fruit from the garden!!.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B in October so contact us for more details.

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Moor Lane Plant Sale

On Saturday it was the Moor Lane Plant Sale in Churchinford.  This is an annual event, eagerly awaited by budding gardeners as an opportunity to pick up a bargain plant or two.  We were there as part of the Blackdown Hills Transition Group stand, where we were offering packets of seeds for a donation and encouraging youngsters to “sow a seed and watch it grow” with some compost in a yoghurt pot.

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Neil made a small frame as an example of “no dig” gardening, with plants coming up through cardboard to keep down the weeds.

The plant sales were very popular, and no sales were allowed before the bell was rung at 10.30am.

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There were some great signs outside too:

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I bought some courgette plants that I got into the ground the same day, and a couple of nice tomatoe plants that I have potted up already.

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Seed swap days

We have been to 2 “Seed swap days” in the last week.  Last Sunday was a big “Seedy Sunday” held at Stentwood Farm near Dunkerswell.  Stentwood Farm is run by a community who have a bakery called “The Common Loaf”.  They make artisan bread and sell it at farmer’s markets in the area.  Anyway they have a farm with lots of parking and a tea room, so were ideally suited to hosting the Seedy Sunday.  People bring along unwanted seeds, or seeds they have collected from their plants, in little envelopes, and these are then swapped for other seeds.

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I collected Budleia seeds and also enveloped up some runner bean seeds we had collected from last year’s harvest.

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It was an all day long event and people could donate some money if they didn’t have any seeds to swap.

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After sorting out some seeds people could go downstairs to the tea rooms to have a cuppa.

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Although it was a bitterly cold day there was a good turnout. The event was organised by the Blackdown Hills Transition Group.

Today the Honiton Transition Group had a seed stand at a community Fayre in the town, so we went along to that too.  We were a bit late and didn’t manage to get many seeds, but it will be interesting to grow a few new varieties this year and see what comes up.

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STOP PRESS:  we still have availability at the B&B for Easter Sunday 31st March and Bank Holiday Monday 1st April

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