Craft cider & apple juice
How it all happens
13th Jan 2024. We have 2 sessions to help you keep your trees healthy, in good shape & producing the best fruit.
These winter days are ideal for pruning your apple and pear trees, while they are asleep & the sap isn't rising.
The workshops will be led by Louise Allen of the Oxford Pruning Co, who has guided us for the last couple of years. Ideal for beginners or experts. We'll look at pruning techniques, tree sizes, disease, etc. Tickets are £25 per person, or £10 concessions.
To register, please click on on of these links:
When it comes to harvest time again...
Pressing service: We can give you all your juice for £2.30 per bottle - this is fully pasteurised, bottled & good for 2 years. Discounted to £2.20 a bottle if you have more than 30 bottles produced.
We will drop a png or jpeg (of your house, tree or family) onto the label so you have a unique label printed, or you can have a standard label. If you bring less than 50kg, your apples will be mixed with others.
Donation: for every full crate you deliver of good dessert apples & pears (approx 12kgs), we'll give you 1x750ml bottle of apple juice at no charge. An apple-pear mix is available if you bring pears. If you bring cooking apples, it is one bottle for 2 crates of good fruit.
Your own juice: you provide your own containers & take the juice away to drink or ferment - £1.50 per litre. As this would not be pasteurised, it would need to be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days.
New pressing venue:
Manor Farm, Oakley Road, Horton-cum-Studley, Oxford, OX33 1BG
https://w3w.co/headrest.woven.limes - straight ahead as you enter the farm yard. Pull up
Cider & Juice can be bought from:
Stowford Farm, Bayswater Road, Oxford. OX3 9RZ
Step 1: donated apples are washed & graded
Step 2: we mill the apples in the scratter with a mix of varieties, which helps make a good flavour
Step 3: into the press - layers made into 'cheeses'
Step 4: juice flows! Apple juice is bottled & pasteurised. Cider goes into vats for fermentation - either with natural or added yeast.
Apples & pears need to be ripe & clean on delivery (if dirty, washed in cold water & no detergent). If in doubt, follow these simple steps:
Colour - most dessert apples turn yellow/red when ripe. Pears go from green to yellow.
Taste it - does it taste good? Easy if you’ve got dessert apples. Cooking apples remain sharp when ripe.
Twist it - ripe fruit should come away from the tree with a twist of the stalk.
Test it - ripe fruit has dark brown pips - cut a few open to check.
Please separate any windfall (fallen) fruit - we press that first.
Bring 'tree ripe' fruit rather than 'store ripe', an easy mistake to make. The fruit needs to be fully ripe on the tree before picking - tree ripe. Fruit in the shops is 'store ripe' & has been picked weeks before it is ripe - this doesn't make good juice (or such good eating either).
If there is soil on the fruit, please wash it in cold water with no detergent or chemical of any kind. Thank you.
Fresh from the gardens of Oxfordshire
Ox TV 2019
Oxford Farmhouse is a social enterprise - a CIC - Community Interest Company, which is one of the new forms of charity structure. We take unwanted apples & pears to make craft cider & juice with the help of volunteers from many different backgrounds. Give us a call if you'd like to find out about joining in.
We started with small scale production for our own use, just experimenting to make sure we had a good product. In 2018 we went public and have been excited by the volume of apples that have been donated, the people who've helped, and the delicious apple juice. Typical responses to the juice have been:
'The best I've ever tasted!'
The Great Taste Award judges liked it too, awarding us a star for our apple juice in 2019 and 2 stars in 2020 (no one received 3 stars & only 7 others were awarded 2 stars).
Our ciders are also available - traditional still, medium or dry cider. We also have an oak matured cider that was aged in a whiskey barrel. The flavour is whiskey, oakey, cider - 'Incredible!'
'I absolutely loved it!'
Our craft cider is made using traditional methods & the minimum interruption to the natural process, unlike most mass produced ciders that are reduced to concentrate & then reconstituted using sugar & water.