When the Honey’s bought the farm in Midford near Bath back in 1960, the old maps – like so many in Somerset – had ‘orchard’ marked on several grass paddocks. It took 42 years, but in 2002 we revived that tradition by planting traditional Somerset grazed orchards, which are of potentially big, widely spaced trees giving the sheep and cattle shade and shelter. In return they provide fertility to the orchard soil.
We have kept with traditional West Country cider apple varieties such as Slack m’girdle, Harry Masters Jersey, Yarlington Mill, Stembridge Cluster, Dunkerton Late Sweet, Ten Commandments, Crimson King and Brown Snout. In 2011 we decided to increase our cider production due to popular demand. At 10 years old, our trees are still relatively young so we supplement our own crop by bringing in apples from other well maintained traditional Somerset orchards.
About our neighbours’ apples
We find that using a small proportion of eating and cooking apples with the cider apples gives a clean and fresh note, which balances beautifully with the full, rounded taste of the traditional cider. Apples from nearby gardens and orchards are perfect for the job so we put out requests for unwanted ‘windfalls’ and are always amazed by the response – no need for scrumping at all!
Our cider orchards in Midford near Bath
It all begins with the apples....
'Brown Snout' - a traditional West Country apple variety