When we first moved into the village the noise of apples being dropped into buckets was, as much as Robins singing at dusk, one of the defining noises of autumn. Then the cider factory up the road stopped taking local apples and the orchard fell silent. Since when, though, inspired by traditional local cider makers like Hecks
and Julian Temperley
we have formed a village cider co-op. We now make an invigorating cider we called Bullbeggar,
after our local spirit (every proper village in Somerset has a ghost). With Hecks' help we bottle some for sale locally and in London, and sell the rest in the barrel at local fetes and festivals. The process starts with harvesting the apples, on an afternoon either on or close to the official Apple Day. Ern's orchard is proper kit - a really nice mix of traditional cider varieties - so interesting to work in. The weather is aways glorious, as is the gossip and the tea. Community, local history, local food, habitat. Fantastic.