Somerset is famous for it's varied apple orchards. Today however, many smaller orchards are falling into disrepair, as trees grow old they fill with mistletoe. This parasitic plant clogs branches and kills old trees, many are blown over in the winter. In years past cider producers would maintain trees by pruning out the mistletoe. Old trees were given a new life using the age old technique of grafting, this allows new growth on an existing root stock and prolongs the productivity of an orchard.
Today's commercial cider producers are not interested in old, difficult to access orchards. They require cost effective, regularly spaced plantations with access for large machinery. Consequently apples from small orchards are often left to rot on the ground. These once common environments are becoming scarce, along with the with the old apple varieties they hold.
We want to use these apples, help with orchard maintenance, and encourage investment for the future.
Removing Mistletoe at this Orchard in West Pennard
Orchard regeneration is one of the most exciting areas of our business which includes the management of these environments year round. Many landowners are happy to have bee hives on their land and keep sheep or horses to maintain the grass height. There is no need to clear grass and weeds by spraying chemicals and we are not interested in the industrialisation of the countryside. We care about our heritage and want to benefit the environment as best we can in our role as a sustainable cider producer.
We also want to take a fresh look at packaging, encouraging the reuse of containers, just like they used to do! We aim to minimise our environmental impact wherever we can, our aim is to reduce waste, use recycled materials for building projects, minimise transportation and wherever possible use a modern and inventive approach to cider making and distribution.