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Posted 21/8/2013

There is always a long list. On this list are all the jobs that need doing now; all the jobs that need doing soon; and all of the other things I’d really like to do as they are so much more fun than the previous two categories. Unfortunately I never get around to writing this list down and therefore usually get distracted by the things I like to do but aren’t a priority. As such, it comes around to this time of year and I realise the folly of my ways: lots of jobs still to do and only a few days before the first apples of the season will need pressing.

In my defence, I was caught out a little bit as I was working to early September for the first apples due to the late Spring, but they aren’t as far behind as I hoped. Still, I think I work better to a deadline and am now frantically making final preparations for what is going to be another big year for the Virtual Orchard.

OK, so to quickly bring us all up-to-date: after the long cold winter we launched the usual Hard Core as well as two new ciders (Saxon Aelle 5.5%and All About Eve 5.5%) in June having finally running out of the 2011 Hard Core around May. Saxon Aelle was a nice fruity cider made with five early varieties of apple, and All About Eve was a light single varietal cider made entirely from the Discovery apple. Initial reaction was good and both ciders have now run dry so some new ones will be launched very soon: Falstaff 5.5% and Hog Shed 5.5%. 

The new press and milling machine arrived in July and we are currently scurrying around for the final connections of hoses and pipes to get it all up and running. I'll introduce the new kit in the next post but this little beauty is a monster and eats apples like they're going out of fashion. Most of the manual effort for making the juice is now gone so I think I'll make it to Christmas in good physical shape - unlike last year when I was worn to a crisp!

I probably should mention the Perry pear orchard we planted, as well as our new Cidery at Galleon Wharf, Old Wolverton. Then there's our grant of a premises licence so we can sell direct to our lovely public, and the new company vehicle. I really should blog more regularly then I wouldn't have to spew all of this information out in an incoherent manner. Sorry about that.

Right, tie to crack on... cider making course to prepare for on Saturday and deliveries that won't deliver themselves.

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