We hate to see home grown apples go to waste, so we decided to do something about it. Based at our HQ in Macclesfield, we started turning them into a delicious healthy blend with a taste that can vary from bottle to bottle.
I guess that makes us unique!
Homegrown and not mass produced - so no pesticides, chemicals or nasties, no added sugar or water . . . no concentrate here!
Just pure delicious local apples, made by us in the traditional, small-batch way.
We want your lovely homegrown apples - and in exchange we'll give you some of our delicious 'Random Apple' juice, bottled and ready to drink. Want to get your apples involved?! Keep reading...!
At apple season we usually invite as many people as possible to take part ... school sessions, private groups, volunteers, you, your kids, your Nana ... you name it ... part of what we do is cram as many people into our very small Applery and get them hands-on and involved in making apple juice. Sadly, for obvious reasons we were unable to do that last year - our working area is just too small - so we ran private booked slots for apple drop offs - which worked so well we're keeping them for this year - albeit with (fingers crossed!) some great public events alongside
Firstly ... and before anything else, they MUST be ripe! Don't be fooled by our gorgeously changeable weather and the effect it's had on fruit this year ... just because some of your apples are falling and you're happy cooking them into a crumble, it does not mean they are ripe and ready to pick - or ready to turn into juice!
General rule (and I know ... there is always a few genuine exceptions...), most apples in our area are not ready before the start of September (maybe even later this year thanks to the very cold spring) - and dependent on the variety they may not ripen until October, or even November. Our pressing season will start mid September so we will not be booking in any apple drop-off slots any earlier than Saturday 11 September.
You can check for ripeness by picking an apple straight from the tree (NOT off the ground) and cut it in half - if any of the pips are still white, milk chocolate colour, or mottled they are not ripe or ready to pick - the apples need more time on the tree for the fruit sugars to fully develop and the fruit to swell in size (the bonus is that bigger fruit = more juice back!). The pips need to be all dark brown for the apples to be fully ripe.
Please note - your apples will be checked before we accept them and we will turn away anything under ripe.
We accept any 'eating' (dessert) apples, and some 'cooking' (baking/culinary) apples.
If you are unsure of what you have - firstly make sure they're ripe (yup - I'm a stickler for it!) - and do a very technical test ... the 'bite test'. Basically take a big old mouthful and if your apple is palatable raw, it's good for juicing.
If the taste is so tart or acidic that your whole face screws up and your mouth feels like it's turning inside out, I'm afraid they're no good for juice! Because we don't add any sugar to our Random Apple juice, we have to balance flavours using sweeter apples ... and there's just not enough sweet apples to make something that sour into a tasty juice!
So very sour 'cooking' (baking/culinary) apples, cider apples, crab apples, and 'wildings' (uncultivated hedgerow apples - similar to a crab apple in size and flavour) may not work for juice .... however .... for the first year we have a plan to stop these going to waste ... Get in touch if you have apples unsuitable for juice (or even pears) and we can see what we can do!
Don't pick ... yet ... get in touch!
Drop an email to Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your apple drop-off slot - we will come back to you with a couple of options as soon as we can - bear with us (most of the time 'we' are a one-woman apple-mad 'team' - with a few lovely helpers when it all gets too crazy!) and most days are spent climbing trees, pressing and bottling. I will do my very best to respond within 24 hours!
Please don't contact us to book a slot before your apples are ripe - and please please be understanding of how busy apple season is and help us by sticking to your drop off slot. Any apples left for us without booking a timed slot will be considered to be a donation and no juice will be returned for them.
Keep your apples on the tree as close as possible to your arranged drop-off time (don't pick them weeks before
and try and store them until you can bring them/we can fit you in!). This will ensure the freshest and best
quality apples - and mean you will get more juice in return (and we don't have to get rid of lots of going-off
wasted fruit! Although admittedly the local pigs do love it ...!).
We ask that you pre-sort your apples before you arrive to minimise the amount of time you have to spend
listening to Sarah's apple banter/Rob's jokes - to produce unspoilt juice all apples used have to be free from
any nasties like bruises, rot or bugs. If you're unsure pop in separate containers for 'good-to-go' and 'not-sure'
Click on the document link for more help ->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Not only the satisfaction that your lovely homegrown apples have been put to excellent use rather than wasted ... but for every one of our grey crates you can fill with your lovely ripe homegrown apples* - you will be given 3 x 1 litre bottles of our finest Random Apple juice (pasteurised so it will store for 2 years) in exchange - free of charge.
Not quite a full crate? Not a problem - we can work it out!
* our crates hold approx 30kg of apples - depending on variety
If you want your own juice back from your own apples rather than a 'random' blend, please get in touch via email for our commercial rates - you would need in excess of 100kg to allow us to put them through the press separately.
1. Wait (as patiently as possible) until your apples are ripe
2. Check they're suitable for juicing - 'bite test' (contact us if not)
3. Email email@example.com to book a drop-off slot
4. Pick apples as close to drop-off time as possible. Sort good and 'bad' apples
5. Drop off at Random Apple HQ - please stick to your booked slot!
6. Don't let Sarah talk at you about apples for too long while you're dropping off (!)
7. Get your Random Apple juice swap (we aim to swap apples-for-juice there and
then but at our busiest times you may need to pop back to collect)
8. Sit back, relax and enjoy your utterly delicious Random Apple juice made from local homegrown apples knowing you've not only helped reduce waste, but got something stonkingly good back in the process ;)
Unfortunately we've had to plan this year's pressing schedule and with still so much uncertainty we've had to make the unhappy call to put open sessions on hold for another year. We really hope this time next year we'll be back to as normal - albeit 'random normal'!
If your fruit tree is looking a little worse for wear or needs an annual tidy-up we can help! We've been trained by Westcountryman (aka apple aficionado Les Davies) to be able to help with formative pruning, maintenance and even restoration projects on old and poor producing trees. Our winter and summer pruning calendar books up quickly so drop us a message with some details and your address and we'll get in touch to come and do a site visit as soon as poss.
And if you want to plant an apple tree or two, but don't know how (or which one!), we've learnt a lot planting our own orchards of over 300 trees ... and a few others that may have popped up all round the Macclesfield area (taking over the world with apples ...)! Just get in touch and we can discuss anything from one tree all the way through to our planning service for creating a full orchard.
If you want to stock our delicious juices in your farmshop, cafe, deli or restaurant then please get in touch.
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