Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Scottish Government to plant 24 million trees - any chance of including apple trees in that Fergus?

Earlier today Fergus Ewing put a post up on twitter. This observer was quick to reply to his post. You can see the details below.

In recent years the orchard revival movement in Scotland has made remarkable progress. You can get some idea of what has been going on by popping into their social media blether and think tank page "Scottish Orchard Collective" here. 

Nairn is just one town in Scotland where a lot of orchard related stuff has been going on. These pages here give you an idea of some of what has been happening in the town and nearby.

Of course there are many things you can do with apples, including making cider, and across the nations that make up the UK some exciting things have been happening there in recent years too. 

Caledonian Cider, made in the Highlands, is indeed a very good example of this activity, and here is a map of all the cider makers in Scotland just now. 

There will soon be another one too if all goes well. Common Weal cider will be making an appearance in Aberdeen:

"Common Weal Cider wants to recruit volunteer groups who can donate their time – and their apples – to help put the north-east on the map for cider-making.

The collected fruit would be turned into either cider or juice by the Common Weal Cider group and sold for profit.

Neil Clapperton, who is also chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, said the project came about through conversations with groups Common Weal Aberdeen and Aberdeen Beautiful, which look to improve community engagement in the city." Read more here. 

There is a social media page for Cider makers in Scotland too and whether it be a yearly demi-john or too or maybe you have plans to enter the market yourself in some way, you will be welcome by the folks here. 

Last Wednesday evening this observer  managed to get some decently priced tickets and get through to Aberdeen to a event in Waterstones organised by Neil and his colleagues. " An evening with the Ciderologist Gabe Cook" turned out to be a very enjoyable couple of hours. As well as outlining how he came to be a "Ciderologist" (a name he admits to making up himself) Gabe communicated his passion and knowledge for all things cider. Here's a wee bit from his website which isn't far off from some of the things he had to say.

"Ciderology is an ethos; a way of life, if you will.  As The Ciderologist, I have embarked upon a journey to spread the good word of cider. The principles of Ciderology are upheld by six Core Values:
  • True love of cider: the perfect confluence of art, science and nature
  • Espouse the unique traditions, heritage, culture and identity of cider in its heartland regions
  • Advocate the development of sustainable, authentic cider industries in areas of new growth
  • Champion artisan producers for their innovation and creation of high value products
  • Support cider producers of all scales which continue to uphold the spirit of cider by making a responsible product and contributing to their local heritage, economy, environment and communities
  • Celebrate and share the wonder of cider with the world
Cider is far more than merely an industry (ie the processing of raw materials into a product).  In certain parts it forms the culture, heritage, lifeblood and defining feature. It is where the worlds of great artistry (for cider makers truly are artists), scientific application and the harnessing of nature, come together in perfect unison." 
If you want to find out more about the cider world (totally astonishing what is going on really once you scratch the surface, here's Gabe's website folks, and here's his entertaining and very informative book "Ciderology. Gabe is also involved in a magazine called Full Juice which details a lot of the country's craft ciders made with nothing but full juice - spoiler some ciders out there can contain up to 65% water :-).  There is also interesting cider discussion on the Caledonian Cider blog folks and if anyone is thinking of making some of their own this year, here's a very interesting Leeds based website that gives you a few pointers. 

And if anyone is in town on Saturday there is an apple related event going on in Viewfield: 

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