Tuesday 18 October 2011

Apple Day 2011 - the write-up

Apple Day is one of my favorite events in the calendar and this was no exception. We always get an enthusiastic response: as one mum put it, 'It's an event I look forward to every year.'

This year we had all the features that make this day such a success: the fresh juice from the apple press, many, many different varieties to sample, a crammed tasting table, a cookery demonstration, a children's craft area and a bustling cafe selling tea and apple cake. 

So this is an opportunity to thank everyone who contributed. 

Thanks to the Urban Harvest, our partners in this event for their stalwart work at the apple press, (i.e. Phil and Mike) and to Hornsey Vale Community Centre for co-hosting the event (special mention to Lynne and Ursula from the committee for helping out in the cafe). 

Thanks to George for providing the fabulous apples (and for letting us take some home with us), and of course for sourcing the most beautiful apple tree, which I'm hoping will be part of a community garden.  Thanks to Anna Konarska for organising the children's area and for superb multitasking. Thanks to Sarah Moore for showing us how to produce a delicious dish from quince, a fruit that can be seen as the poor cousin of the apple but shouldn't be.

Thanks to all the bakers and preservists who turned up with tempting home-made produce and who sold it!  (Special mention to Dick for bringing his battery of artesan jams and chutneys.)  Thanks to Church Farm for providing us with bottled apple juice from their rural care project.  Thanks to Pamela and Chris for meeting and greeting and doing a very good job of monitoring attendance.  (We had just short of 300 people.)

And thanks to everyone else who helped with putting up posters, and telling people, and on the day chopping, washing and clearing up.  And to North London Lets, Tree Trust for Haringey and Transition Finsbury Park for providing information about their projects.

Every Apple Day has the same ingredients and yet each year is just that little bit different.  A year ago we decided to concentrate on apple produce and activities, rather than the juicing, because we thought all the apples would have run out by the end of September.  How wrong we were....  Instead Apple Day was a celebration of abundance and human ingenuity in not letting good food go to waste. 

People were encouraged to bring their own apples; many did and they were received enthusiastically.   We had about eight boxes left over and at least half of those were juiced at the Launch of the Stationers Park Playground the next day. 

At the same time, many people left with homemade produce and hopefully ideas for making their own.  Is this idea of artesan goods and sharing skills something we could develop next year?  Could this be the first tentative step towards creating a community market?

See, planning for next year already!

Apples from Weston Park Primary School

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