Having a dozen trees planted around the garden makes for our modest orchard with a day to day juicing requirement for home consumption. It suits. Going back to Devon on this trip and visiting a small producer like McG makes for a very interesting afternoon. We enjoyed a lovely lunch Jake & Miriam in their village centre home in Dolton. Their four grown up children help them out, when at home. The big orchard lies below the garden. Former pastureland, sloping down to a small stream, is where the enterprising couple planted some 200+ apple varieties, all suitable for juicing. They also put in a few crab apples to aid pollination. In a large wooden shed on site they crush, juice, pasteurise & bottle their lovely apple product. The old barn opposite the house is used for storage (carefully insulated against freezing in Winter) before orders are labelled top sealed and dispatched. (Labels designed by Miriam). The couple have grown a good customer base, both wholesale & retail, across the county. One growing product line is apple vinegar while a brisk trade in bottling juice for other growers balances output flows and brings in extra income. It’s all go each autumn of course and having a mini-tractor and cart for the heavy work makes all the difference in harvesting effectively. 2018 has been a good year so they – like many others – have surplus product, like these Lord Derby apples, left lying in the orchard this November. Michael, Kim & I left even more appreciative of people like Jake & Miriam whose dedication, hard work and skill set have brought new life to old ways, here in the heart of Devon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *