Twitter is a funny thing. It’s not like e-mail where you see the conversation that went on before you get roped in. I’m fairly new to Twitter but have a lot of time on my hands so when I saw my name being mentioned apparently randomly I dug back and found out it was all to do with the East Dulwich Orchard Collective. I was intrigued, as I am about any independent goings on in the area, so when it was mentioned that an apple pressing was taking place on Lordship Lane I thought I had better go along.
It transpires that this has been going on for about ten years. The founders, Damon and Jo Green, bought a cider press for their own personal use to make cider from the apples in their garden, but they soon realised that it would be fun to broaden the idea and encourage other apple growers of the area to bring along their produce, in the same way that the wine co-ops function all over Europe. They also promote tree growing and are a font of knowledge on what trees to buy and how to grow them.
Last Saturday they held a community apple pressing, encouraging locals to bring along their apples. They crushed and pressed around 100kg of apples from at least twelve local trees, gave away two dozen bottles of cider and perry and raised nearly £40 in donation to support the collective. The juice they pressed on the day has been sealed in two large sterile buckets and is fermenting away in their kitchen. Soon it will have to be moved to a cooler spot to continue the process through the winter; when spring comes and the secondary fermentation is over, they will bottle it and it will be ready for those who donated apples and signed up to the collective to collect.
They are planning another pressing at Franklins to coincide with Apple Day so if you are interested, and/or have apples go along. If you are on Twitter the man to follow is @DamonGreenITV.