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: orchard [at] pedal-porty [dot] org [dot] uk