There has been an orchard here at Quaish Farm for almost 200 years, and so many of the apple trees are very old. We are in the process of restoring the orchard by planting traditional varieties of apple where they once were, and preserving the existing trees.
Some of the apples begin to ripen in July, but are left until the autumn to sweeten and by October they are beginning to ripen and fall.
We begin making our apple juice and cider in October. All the apples we use are picked by hand and sorted according to variety - the juice is from a single variety of red dessert apple called Beauty of Bath, which results in a fresh, medium sweet, clear juice. It is pasteurised and bottled, which gives it a long shelf life without affecting the flavour, and is ready to drink in a few days. It is available directly from us for £2.25 per bottle or £12 for six.
The cider is made from a mix of traditional Somerset cider apples such as Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill, Dabinett and Harry Masters. Some is bottled, but most is fermented in oak barrels on the farm, and left to age until the spring.