Apple Day 2016 – a day of two halves!
Apple Day on 1st October was a day of sharply contrasting weather – cool, wet and rainy in the morning then sunny and warmer in the afternoon. Our intrepid volunteers and quite a lot of our committed visitors nevertheless braved the morning’s rain – the early forecast was rain throughout Apple Day so plenty of British indomitable spirit. The afternoon visitors had it easy by comparison as the sun came out!
We were concerned we might not have enough apples this year, as Chorleywood’s apple trees seemed to be having a year off from fruiting (perhaps not entirely surprising after last year’s bumper harvest). In the event we had more than enough and even sent some to be juiced at the close of play.
The BBQ was as popular as ever (J & J May have really perfected the blend of sausage meat and local apples) and so was pressing apples the traditional way – children and adults alike are still impressed (and in some cases frankly amazed) that delicious apple juice comes out of apples using only a bit of manual effort and with nothing added! Meanwhile the Cider Club’s 2015 vintage attracted very favourable reviews and some new members were signed up to make the 2016 vintage.
Sixth formers from St Clement Danes were in attendance fundraising for their chosen charities: they organized children’s activities including making delicious apple-based ‘mocktails’, and helping younger children make apple animals.
Delicious homemade cakes and local honey sold out early and sales of local apple juice, jams, fruit jellies and chutneys together with unusual varieties of locally grown apples were also very popular.
All in all, a very successful day – proving that Apple Day is now a firm fixture in the Chorleywood calendar.
Apple Day 2015
Apple Day 2015 took place at the Orchard in Chorleywood House on Saturday 3rd October. We were hugely relieved that the weather was once again kind to us after the drenching we endured in 2014 (see photos!).
A record number of visitors turned out to enjoy this celebration of all things apple. As usual, the star attraction was our famous BBQ serving delicious pork and apple sausages, made to order for us by local butcher J & J May, served with a choice of home-made plum or apple chutney. The BBQ team worked flat out from before we opened right through to the end to cope with the demand and sold a record number of hot dogs.
Children enjoyed a range of activities, including pressing apples into juice using our traditional crusher and press, while Little Beans Café and Little Cakes Montessori School were in attendance organizing apple-based crafts.
Adults were able to taste our Cider Club’s 2014 vintage (which was very well-received) and everyone could sample and buy unusual varieties of locally grown apples and juice. In addition we sold out of home-made cakes, biscuits, jams, jellies and chutney all made by our volunteers from local apples and plums, including lots gathered in the wonderful traditional orchard at Bullsland Farm thanks to the generosity of owner Steve Hayes. Beekeeper Mike Davey was there as usual with his local honey and a display and information about bees and beekeeping, and Waitrose Rickmansworth attended with a selection of their English apples, recipe cards and baked cakes. Chorleywood Youth Council sold all their homemade toffee apples for charity. Kate Dyer won the very popular raffle of a hamper filled with local apple and plum products.
See below for a selection of photos of the day.
Apple Day 2014After 5 years in a row of being blessed with glorious sunshine on the first Saturday in October, it was obviously only a matter of time before our luck ran out and it did big time in 2014! This year was memorable not least for the absolutely precise timing of the deluge – steady rain started at 10.55am, became heavier and stopped at 3.05pm, with Apple Day open to the public from 11am to 3pm. But an amazing 240 visitors refused to be put off! See the following selection of photos for a flavour of the day. Click here to see some pictures.
Apple Day 2013
Nearly 600 people attended our 5th Apple Day this year and enjoyed a wide range of applerelated attractions. A bumper apple harvest meant we had plenty of apples, juice and preserves to sell, and the BBQ was a triumph, serving over 300 delicious pork and apple hot dogs made by local butcher J & J May.
Chorleywood Mums organised a treasure hunt and other activities for children, a guided tour of the Orchard was popular with new visitors and Waitrose brought along several varieties of English apple to taste as well as samples of their delicious apple recipes baked by the staff. The baking competition winners were Barbara Stunell in the adult category and Eleanor Wilkinson in the children's section. Well done to them and thanks to all the entrants and to Gillian Hill for judging.
Yet again operating our traditional apple press and crusher was a hit with children and adults, with everyone enjoying the delicious juice they made. Our bottled apple juice and the chutneys, jams and jellies were a sellout. Chris and Sandra Kemp put on another fantastic display of many varieties of local apples grown on their allotments (with samples for tasting) and Mike and Catherine Davey provided a very entertaining display of honey and beekeeping.
And a new venture cider enthusiasts signed up to a Chorleywood cider club and have since made local cider which, if we say so ourselves, is not half bad! Who knows, maybe one day Chorleywood cider will be more famous (for all the right reasons) than the infamous Chorleywood Bread Process! Anyone interested in joining, please contact us. Finally, If anyone has ideas for attractions to add next year please also get in touch.
Apple Day 2012
The fourth Apple Day was held in The Orchard on Saturday 6th October and was blessed with sunshine and more visitors than ever before. The tents were adorned with beautiful bunting (thank you Charlotte) and it was wonderful to see how the orchard project could bring the community together to celebrate the fruit and its produce.
We were joined this year by Chorleywood Mums who entertained the children with craft activities, apple bobbing and treasure hunts throughout the day and we hope they will be part of Apple Day every year from now on. A big thank you to Simone and her helpers.
Other attractions included a stall with preserves, cakes and apple juice which was very popular and sold out by the afternoon. A competition for pre-baked goods with two categories for adults and children was judged by Gillian and Francesca. Prizes were awarded to the winners but the standard did make judging difficult – well done to all those who entered.
There was a display and tasting of unusual locally grown apples and Waitrose kindly supplied extra apples for juicing as the weather conditions this year meant that there was a poor harvest in local orchards. Thank you again, Waitrose. The apple peeling machine was a great attraction and the competition to produce the longest peel was as popular as ever.
The BBQ with ‘Higgins’ pork and apple sausages sold out before the end of the day despite having more sausages than last year. Many apologies to all those disappointed and we promise to increase the amount again next year to keep up with demand!
Michael Hyde conducted a guided tour of The Orchard which we hope will now be a regular event as it generated a lot of interest.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the day such a resounding success .
Apple Day 2011
On Saturday October 1st we had our third Apple Day and what a day it was! The sun shone and the crowds came! It was definitely a brilliant day out for all the family and everyone had a lovely time.
Marquees adorned with bunting stood in the Orchard waiting for folk to arrive and arrive they did! We think that up to 500 came and there was lots to entertain them. As last year we had the apple peeling machine which the children (and adults!) love. Always a challenge to see who can make the longest peel.
Then the crushing of the apples to make juice is always a hit. Queues ‘round the block’ formed for people who wanted their apples identified and children waited patiently to have their faces painted. To satisfy every sort of hunger and thirst there was a barbecue serving delicious pork and apple sausages and a stall serving biscuits, cakes and preserves. The toffee apples proved to be a hit and sold out in no time, as did the Apple Juice. A stall all about bee keeping was a lovely new addition to the day.
It was so lovely to see families come to Apple Day and sit amongst the trees with a picnic – truly a community orchard for all to enjoy!
Last year well over 150 visitors of all ages enjoyed the second Chorleywood Apple Day which took place on Saturday 2nd October 2010 in glorious autumn sunshine in Chorleywood House Estate.