2020 is a weird year for all of us but nature doesn’t stop
and the apples are still ripening on the trees. Our equipment is ready to use
and we are keen to hold pressing days - and judging by the number of phone
calls and emails we’ve had, so are you!
We started offering our apple pressing service over 10
years ago as a way of using apples that would normally go to waste. Unlike most
other apple pressing services, we wanted people to be involved with the process
of taking their apples from tree to bottle. We give our time and equipment
freely to enable this to happen, asking only for a voluntary donation in return
which is reinvested back into the pressing service. As Old Sleningford
Preserves expanded, pasteurising and cider making became available and this has
allowed even more people to use the service and tons more apples to be used.
Payment for pasteurised juice and cider covers the costs of providing this.
Over the years, hundreds of families have gathered for a fun few hours, making
use of tons of apples, something we are proud and pleased to have enabled.
After a lot of thinking, planning and discussion with
Environmental Health in Harrogate, we have come up with a way of working that
will comply with all the rules and minimise any risk - so all systems are go!
As you’d expect, there will have to be some changes, which
are detailed in the FAQ’s below. Please read them carefully, in order to keep
everyone as safe and be as efficient as possible we will need to be strict
about enforcing them. This is new to us and we will do our best to enable as
many people to press their apples as possible but please bear with us if things
don’t quite go to plan!
The main changes will be:
· You will need to book a time slot for use of
one of the presses according to the amount of apples you are bringing.
· You will have to wash your hands before and
after using each piece of equipment
· Equipment will be spaced to allow social
distancing and will be washed down and sanitised after each group has used it
· There will be no apple washing facility and we
will not provide hot drinks, jugs and funnels
· For those with larger amounts of apples we are
asking for a minimum of 2 people to come so we can move one person on from the
shredder to pressing and therefore make the process more efficient
· Group maximum will be 5, from the same
household or social bubble, and we are asking those bringing children to
consider if they need to factor in extra time for them to be involved
Obviously, if the guidelines and regulations change we will
review our procedures but fingers crossed we can get some pressing done!
measures are you taking to comply with Covid-19 guidelines?
We have completed a risk assessment, which is available to
view on request. The following is a summary of what is contained in it, all
measures will ensure social distancing is maintained and risk of transmission
of the virus is minimised. More details of each measure and compliance are
included under the specific FAQ’s below.
· Visitors will be asked not to attend, and will
be turned away, if they are showing signs of illness
· Visitors will only be allowed in groups from
the same household or social bubble, maximum 5 people per group
· Visitors will need to book a time slot to limit
the number of people present at any one time, which will also gather contact
information for use if contact tracing is required.
· Visitors will have to wash their hands before,
in between and after using the shredder and press. If visitors touch something
other than the apples and equipment e.g. mobile phone, they will have to wash
their hands before touching the equipment again. 2 hand washing stations will
· Equipment will be spaced to allow 2 meter
social distancing of groups
· All equipment will be washed down and sanitised
after each group has used it
· We will not be asking people to wear masks or
gloves. If people want to wear heavy duty gloves to protect their hands they
will need to be washed in the same way as hands before and after using each
piece of equipment
As there are a number of changes this year, please read all
the FAQ’s before you book, even if you’ve pressed apples before as things will
be different. As always, we will try and make the process as efficient and
enjoyable as possible for everyone and if visitors are fully aware of the new
procedures that will help to enable that – thank you
Please use the new online booking system, we will not take
bookings by telephone or email so please don’t try! You will not be able to
press apples without a booking so please do not turn up on the off chance – you
will be turned away.
You will book a time slot for use of a shredder and a
press, according to the number of apples you bring. The online booking system
has the dates and guidance on how to work out what to book, how long to book,
what time to arrive, what happens if you are early or late, what happens if you
estimate the number of apples wrong, how, when and what to do if you need to
many apples can I bring?
Anything from a few to loads! We have 2 shredders and 3
presses so can cater for varying amounts and for 2020 you will book a press
according to the amount of apples you bring. To make it fair and let as many
people use the equipment as possible this may mean people with very large
amounts of apples may not be able to press all of them this year. We are
limiting booking to a maximum of 2 concurrent sessions.
type of apples?
Any apple makes juice, eating apples tend to make a sweeter
juice, cookers a sharper juice. A blend of different apples always works out
well, but bring what you have – it all tastes good and better than any
commercially made juice.
Yes, providing they are clean, show no signs of mould and
haven’t come from an area with animals grazing. Please wash all wind fallen
apples before bringing them, we do not have the washing facility this year
Yes. On their own the juice can be too sweet so we would
recommend a blend with apples. 50/50 always tastes good
bring apples with bruises or scabs?
Yes, providing they haven’t gone mouldy
need to wash the apples?
Only if they are windfalls (see above). However, it’s your
own preference if you want to wash picked apples. Please note, we do not have
washing facilities this year
much juice will I get and what can I do with it?
Approximately 2kg of apples will give 1 litre of juice. This
can vary depending on the variety and ripeness of the apple
Covid-19 is not transferred through food so juice is safe
to drink and take away fresh. Please bring your own containers, jug and funnel
as we will not be providing these this year. We would suggest you overestimate
the number of containers you need as often the apples yield more juice than
expected. Fresh juice can be frozen in plastic containers such as milk cartons.
You can sterilise the containers if you wish, we would just suggest they are
Fresh juice can also be taken away to make your own cider.
We can give you guidance on cider making whilst you are pressing if needed.
Juice can be left for putting in to glass bottles (provided
by us) and pasteurised. The juice is heat treated to kill off bacteria and
yeast which gives a 2 year shelf life and can be stored at ambient temperature.
You can leave any amount of juice: under 60 litres will be put in a large
communal barrel and you will get back the equivalent number of bottles to the
juice you left. Over 60 litres you can opt to have your own barrel which means
you get all your own juice back. Bottles will need to be collected before the
next pressing session, exact dates will be given when you are here.
Juice can also be left and made in to cider at the farm,
minimum of 25 litres in multiples of 25 litres. This will be fermented and
matured until bottling in August 2021.
much does it cost?
For use of the equipment and to take home your juice fresh
we ask for a voluntary donation and suggest 25p per litre pressed.
Pasteurising is £1.75 per litre, including bottle, cap and
donation for use of equipment
Cider making at the farm is £1.25 per 50cl bottle. £20
deposit is required, balance paid when bottles are collected in August next
If they are within your social bubble and don’t take your
group number to over 5 then yes. Spectators will not be able to attend this
Yes, children love the process and can get involved in all
stages. You will be responsible for them at all times and to make sure they
social distance with other groups. You may also want to consider if extra time
may be needed to allow for the children to help with the process.
bring my dog?
No, please leave your dog at home.
got some bottles to return, when can I bring them?
We can accept returned bottles for re-use up to the 5th
October, after then we won’t have time to clean and sterilise them. If you can
bring them before 5th October, please make sure they are spotlessly
clean and have the tops and tamper evident strip removed.
If you can sterilise them yourself ready to be refilled
then you can bring them back when you come to press. We will fill your returned
bottles with your juice.
you’ve read and understood all that, ready to book?
Head over to the new online booking system