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Devon is well known for its many apple orchards - and its cider, so it is fair to say that apples and orchards are an important part of local culture. The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group is a non-profit group of local people passionate about apple trees, juice and other kindred liquids! They encourage the rejuvenation of local orchards through best practice and sustainable management, but their dream is to see local apples sold across the board in South West supermarkets. Bringing back local apples as a viable business will decrease transport miles and enable the community to access the fresh quality juice that is their natural heritage.
In order to help orchard owners become productive again, we can visit them with our pressing and crushing equipment, all mounted on a trailer. The electric apple crusher turns the fruit into a pulpy mush; this is then made into a “cheese” in a hydraulic press from which the golden juice emerges. The juice can be drunk, frozen, pasteurised (we also have pasteurisation tanks to sterilise the juice) or made into scrumpy.
The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group are using equipment financed by local grants
from West Devon Borough Council, the Tamar Valley AONB, Devon County Council, The Tavistock & Villages Development Forum, Bere Ferrers Parish Council, Bere Ferrers Community Shop and “02 It’s Your Community”, who financed the four-wheel trailer, allowing the equipment to be transported to events and owners’ sites. The Group made up the balance with a substantial amount of fundraising.
This unique project by the Tavy and Tamar Apple Group will enable apple tree owners to turn their fruit into apple juice. It was launched with a handing-over presentation and start-up of equipment at Morwellham Quay at 10.30am on Monday 14 September 2009. The Mayor of West Devon, Cllr. Alison Clish-Green, started the apple crusher with its first load of fruit to be turned into a “mush”. Rosemary Teverson, representing the Chair of the Tamar Valley AONB, Cllr. Neil Burden, was invited to make a “cheese of apple mush” and then start the press.
Christopher Kirwin, Chair of Tavistock & Villagers Initiative, presented four pasteurisers, followed by the Vice-Chairman of Bere Ferrers Parish Council, Cllr Hilary Boot-Handford, and members of Bere Ferrers Community Shop, who presented other equipment.
The Group will be working closely with communities within the Tamar Valley through events such as the Bere Apple Fest at Bere Ferrers and numerous training courses to help local people plant and maintain their orchards or garden apple trees.