During September, we have been very busy picking fruit for the scrumping project. In total, we've picked about 540 kg of apples, 225 kg of pears, 150 kg of cherry plums, 100 kg of damsons and even a few kilos of grapes. From our orchards at Stanmer Park, we picked about 1550 kg of apples and 65 kg of pears.
We have picked on common land in Brighton and from trees in gardens of people who have kindly donated their fruit to the project.
Although some of the fruit was sold on Apple Day and some used to make apple chutney and apple crumble, most of it was juiced at Stanmer during September and on Apple Day and sold fresh directly from the juicer. Some of the juice, however, was pasteurised at Hollingdean Community Centre, including one batch with added chilli, ginger and honey, which proved to be very popular at tastings on Apple Day. Pasteurisation involves heating the juice to a high temperature (78 degrees Celsius) before bottling, which gives the juice a year-long shelf life.
The feedback on the quality of the apple juice so far has been very good, and our juicing operation is becoming a familiar sight in Stanmer Village. We will continue to pick and juice over the next few weeks, as we still have the old orchard at Stanmer to pick and there are still apple and pear trees around Brighton and Hove to be scrumped. A big thank you to all the volunteers who have helped us over the last few weeks, without whom the project would not have been possible, and we hope that many of them will be able to help us during October.