With the arrival of an autumnal chill in the morning air, this month sees the celebration with all things apple with Apple Day on the 21st October.
Apple Day is now celebrated in many villages and communities around the country. Here in Suffolk, villages such as Debenham have their own apple festival coming up and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust will be celebrating the humble apple with a day of family events at Foxburrow Farm on 8th October.
Apple Day dates back to 1990 when Common Ground, a collective of growers, held a celebration in the Old Apple Market, in London's Covent Garden. Bringing fruit to the market after a sixteen-year absence, this celebration brought together fruit growers and nurseries, also juice and cider makers, writers and illustrators. It was intended be both a celebration and demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples but in the diversity of landscape, ecology and culture as well. From this initial event, the celebration has blossomed.
At Lawson's beautiful baskets of apples have been on display outside the shop over the last few weeks, including rosy red Discovery and Cox and Ribston Pippin. We source these apples, and also crunchy Conference pears, from High House Fruit Farm in nearby Sudborne, just outside Orford. This family run farm has grown apples and soft fruit since 1958. In 2000, the current generation Suvi and Piers took over from his parents, branching out into apple juice production and embracing the philosophy of local sales. Their produce is all sold within a 12 miles radius of the farm.
We have High House juices all year round. Their apples are pressed locally to create cloudy, unfiltered juices containing no added ingredient other than vitamin C (a natural preservative). There are four distinct juices to choose from: James Grieve (dry, tangy and delicate); Cox & Bramley (medium/dry, full flavoured and refreshing); Discovery (medium/sweet, crisp and summery); and lastly Russet (sweet, full-bodied and mellow).
As part of the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival Fringe, High House Fruit Farm will visit Lawson's with their apple press so you can taste the freshest juice from your own fruit. Bring a kilo of apples and an empty bottle. High House will also have a range of their apples available for juicing.
Pop in from 10am - 12 noon on Saturday 30 September.
Who knew this about apples?
- Apples are actually part of the rose family, like pears and plums.
- There are more than 8,000 varieties of apple grown worldwide.
- An apple ripens six to ten times faster at room temperature than if it is refridgerated.
- Honey bees are the most important pollinators of apple blossom.
- The heaviest apple was found in Japan in 2005, weighing 1.85kg!
- Apple trees take three to five years to produce their first fruit, and have a life of over 100 years.
- Melanin, responsible for human tanning, turns cut apples brown.
- Pomology is the science of apple-growing.
- "Malusdomesticaphobia" is the fear of apples.