Author Archives tomnancarrow

Dec 112013

A waterwheel, an oak press and plenty of apples…


The sluice gate is opened up to redirect the water to the waterwheel.



Here are some photographs of us making cider the old fashioned way, with our traditional oak press.


The wheel is connected with a long rope to an apple crusher in the cider barn on the other side of the wall.



Apples are carried to the floor above the crusher and then poured steadily through a trap door…


Apple pulp

apples in, pulp out!


cider press

And here is the oak press. First, a layer of reed…

making cheese

…a few shovel loads of apple pulp and straw, the reed is folded up and hazel stakes are used to keep the whole thing together












Press the cheese

Pressing the cheese!


Oct 182013

Cyder Making: Collecting the Apples…

Snapshot 2013-10-18 22-44-47

Stage 1: Mow the grass….don’t want to lose your apples in the 2ft sward!
Stage 2: Give your apples a good talking to – tell ’em who’s bossSnapshot 2013-10-18 22-40-32
Stage 3: Utilise a long handled tool to coax them down… in this instance, I’ve opted for an antique soil cultivator…. of course, antique tools are not obligatory






Stage 4: it will inevitably get to the stage of climbing ...

Stage 4: It will inevitably reach the point where climbing is the only remaining option….

Snapshot 2013-10-18 22-50-27

Stage 5: Shake!




Oct 082013

Buckerell Apple Day

apple talk

a little lesson in pruning…

We had a lovely afternoon at Buckerell’s first Apple Day last Sunday! I went along with a few apple trees to sell from Adam’s Apples, gave a quick talk on choosing good varieties for the garden and provided a little tutorial on pruning old apple trees. And the sun shone down like a summers day!

There was some delectable cider to be quaffed courtesy of Berry Farm Cider and I had more than my fair share of leftovers from the apple cake competition…

Mar 132013

Fruit trees and pests

Biting into an apple or plum, only to find something living in the middle of it can be a somewhat alarming experience. If you eat lots of fruit from the garden you might find it happens quite regularly! Continue Reading →

Jan 042013

Restoring old fruit trees

Mature fruit trees offer a wonderful contribution to any garden or orchard. If properly cared for they can still produce annual crops of good quality fruit, as well as providing a valuable habitat for local wildlife. However, many people feel overwhelmed at the prospect of dealing with a gnarly old fruit tree, it’s limbs spreading in all directions and branches shooting up to the heavens.

The key to successfully restoring old and neglected fruit trees is to take things slowly!
Continue Reading →

Dec 192012

Managing Mistletoe (and horses)

I recently visited an old cider orchard not far from us,  just outside Taunton. I was told that something needed to be done with the mistletoe, which was apparently running rampant through the apple trees. Upon my arrival it was clear the owners weren’t exaggerating; the orchard was swamped with mistletoe (although the herd of twenty horses weren’t doing the trees any favours either…). Continue Reading →