Moor Sustainable Community Interest Company was 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 were able to buy apple crushers, presses and associated equipment to run community apple pressing days in the northern part of the North York Moors. In total we held 7 Community Pressing days at The Royal Oak in Great Ayton, Lythe Village Hall, Beyond Boundaries at Commondale, Botton Village and Mickleby Village Hall. These were attended by 240 visitors and helpers with around two tonnes (2,000kgs) of apples crushed and pressed producing 900 litres of apple (and some pear) juice and in addition 160 bottles of juice were pasteurised.
Everyone agreed that the juice was delicious. People came along with their apples (cleaned and bad bits removed), from a bowl-full to a couple of sacks full and went away with juice. We felt it was a good way to use a local resource that can often get wasted and we hope that people will be enjoying their juice (pasteurised or frozen) all year. Local pigs also benefited as they were fed the left-over pulp! Some apples were donated and transported along the Esk Valley Railway to Commondale and the juice shared out by the helpers and trainees at the farm training centre there.
Well done to all the helpers and apple donators and thanks to all who supported the days. The equipment to crush, press and pasteurise the apples plus buckets, tubs, funnels and everything else you need, is now available to the community for the future. Several people have expressed interest in running apple pressing in their village next year, but if you would like to run your own Community Apple pressing event next year in your Village Hall, Women’s Institute Group, Church Hall or even at your own home get in touch.