Many people will have noticed how well apple trees have been doing recently, and anyone with a reasonable sized apple tree in their garden will know that it can be quite hard to use, give away or store all the apples. Turning apples into juice is a good way of using surplus apples and a great way to use a local food resource. With the current interest in preventing food waste and in eating locally grown food, a local community group in the North York Moors has planned a project to bring communities together to make a great use of apples which would otherwise go to waste.
Moor Sustainable Community Interest Company has been awarded a grant of £4,912 by the National Lottery Community Fund to run a community apple pressing project in autumn 2019. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we will be able to buy apple crushers and presses and run community apple pressing days in several villages in the northern part of the North York Moors including Great Ayton, Commondale and Lythe. The apple juicing days will be enjoyable community events where people can bring buckets of apples from trees in their garden and go away with lovely fresh juice – a fun activity for all the family.
Beyond Boundaries which runs from a small farm in Commondale, and offers fully inclusive training, activities, sports and courses, will take part in the project. They will run several apple pressing days for members of the community and will also teach their trainees the process, and press apples from their own orchard.
The project will also work with Esk Valley Community Rail Partnership to collect apples from the Esk Valley via the various stations along the line. These will then be taken to Beyond Boundaries in Commondale for pressing. Anyone with surplus apples could leave them in designated areas at the stations on certain dates and members of Beyond Boundaries will collect them and turn them into juice for local consumption.
Apple trees in our area have done very well over the last few years, so we hope for a good apple harvest in 2019 and lots of lovely, locally produced apple juice to be consumed in our community. Look out for more details on our website, for our leaflets, posters, in local press and in social media from August onwards. Also see the Esk Valley Railway website.