Next steps for Portobello (Transition Town) Apple Network 2016

Portobello Apple is a loc­al ini­ti­at­ive under the umbrella of Portobello Transition Town which is part of a nation­al net­work seek­ing to pro­mote low energy, more sus­tain­able liv­ing. At Portobello Apple we have had three suc­cess­ful years of col­lect­ing unwanted apples and pears from loc­al gar­dens, loc­al parks and our own Portobello Orchard, then juicing, pas­teur­ising and bot­tling them. The bottles are sold at Portobello Market and our own Apple day and the pro­ceeds so far have gone towards the upkeep of Portobello (Donkeyfield) Orchard. 140 bottles were sold last year, as well as a vari­ety of jams, pre­serves and ketch­ups from the fruit. The ini­ti­at­ive has only been pos­sible with loc­al sup­port from artists design­ing the labels; print­ers print­ing the labels at cost-price; people donat­ing space in their gar­dens for the juicing equip­ment and free time to the pick­ing; and com­mer­cial nurs­er­ies pre­pared to donate unwanted apples and pears. A great com­bined effort. As we look ahead to 2016 we see great poten­tial. Only 10% of all the apples grow­ing in loc­al gar­dens have found their way into our bottles. As we sell more we can start con­trib­ut­ing to oth­er char­it­ies. We have a second apple press for hire. Though fairly fully planted,the orch­ard itself lends itself to more grow­ing activ­it­ies and social activ­it­ies. So as we think and plan ahead we would be inter­ested in your responses to the following:

1. We plan to seek out the remain­ing 90% of apples with more pub­li­city. Do you have any unwanted apples or know of any­one who does?

2. We have the equip­ment to pro­duce lots more juice but not the man­power or woman­power. We need more help in the pick­ing and trans­port­ing of the fruit. Can you help?

3. We have the poten­tial to con­trib­ute to oth­er char­it­ies in some ways. Do you know of any?

4. Many people rel­ish mak­ing their own juice and our second mobile press for hire is an under­used resource.

5. Similarly our main stat­ic equip­ment can be made more avail­able to the pub­lic, per­haps for a dona­tion of apples which we can then sell.

6. In the Orchard itself we have a year’s list of pro­jects, includ­ing a children’s wood­land play area, on our monthly work-days. Can you help?

7. We run a series of prun­ing and graft­ing work­shops and an annu­al Wassailing Day already; but the the space is there for any num­ber of oth­er out­door activ­it­ies includ­ing children’s play, bird-watch­ing, theatre and oth­ers. We know of a couple who wanted to get mar­ried in the Orchard! Could you use it?

8. We gen­er­ated enough cre­at­ive recipes to start a Portie Apple Preserve Handbook. Can you contribute?

9. We make cider too but not for sale! We sus­pect there are many oth­ers around mak­ing cider to share tips with. A Portobello Cider Group?

If you are inter­ested or can help please con­tact us at:

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