It's official..... Autumn is here!
Today we visited Swan Barn Farm, an absolutely beautiful National Trust site (that just so happens to be a five minute walk from our house) for their annual apple pressing day. It's a brilliant event and it's totally free; the only condition is that if you want to take some juice home with you, you have to take your own apples to press!
But they aren't essential, and in actual fact you can help the National Trust by using their apples (which come from the orchards surrounding the farm). They're pre-picked but still need chopping, plus you get to have a go at using the heritage scratter and press, and to taste the (pressed) fruits of your labour. Then the apple juice that's leftover is fermented to become cider which is sold on behalf of the National Trust - so it's win-win for everyone. Good, eh?
So how does one press apples the old fashioned way, I hear you ask?
First up there's a whole lot of chopping to do....
I'm talking serious amounts of chopping. This was literally 1/100th of will have been done over the course of the day:
Then the chopped apples go through the scratter - twice. Two people have to turn wheels by hand while a third pushes all the apples through with a stick, turning it into pulp.
The pulp then goes into the press and is turned into lovely, thick, fresh, cloudy apple juice!
The whole process was hard work, so the picnic I had packed went down a treat. We feasted on five rounds of sandwiches between us, and drank our home made apple juice!
And then we got to enjoy the farm and explore the surrounding ancient woodland for the rest of the afternoon. There are Belted Galloway cattle and Jacob sheep to say hello to, as well as plenty of streams to splash in and dens just waiting to be built in the woods!
If you're ever passing through Haslemere, we'd wholeheartedly recommend paying Swan Barn Farm a visit - it's just behind the high street so parking is easy and it's the perfect spot for a picnic.
The girls are wearing:
Jumper dress + tights combos c/o Nutmeg (we LOVE Nutmeg
clothes and these sets are only £12 which is amazing)
PS apple picking is the first thing ticked off our autumn bucket list this year! Yay!