Donate Your Apples
Wasted Apple Cider was born from a desire to reduce waste. We saw beautiful apples in our neighbour’s orchard going to waste simply because he couldn’t use or give away the abundance of fruit that his trees were yielding. He happily donated his unused apples to us to make our first ever batches of Cider. The Cider we made with these apples was good and very popular with friends and family.
The Cider-making bug had taken hold and in 2014 we decided to test the water. We put an ad for ‘wasted’ apples in a Cornish farmers magazine and the local paper, as well as on social media and were astounded at the positive response we received. We discovered that there are many similar unused apple trees and orchards throughout Cornwall. If your orchard is not in Cornwall – check for your nearest local collector here.
Our Apple Journey
What’s In It For You?
As well as the satisfaction of knowing that your donated apples are being used, we will give you some of our cider in return for your support. As a rough rule of thumb we give you 1 bottle of our Cider (dry or medium dry) for every 25-30 kg sackful of apples you donate, up to a maximum of 36 bottles.
What Do You Need To Do?
Simply contact us below to let us know where you are in Cornwall (not in Cornwall – check for a local collector here), how many apples you are likely to be able to donate, the variety (if you know it) and when your apples are likely to be ready to pick (they are ready when they are starting to drop or when they fall when the branch is gently shaken). You can pick up apple sacks from us and then drop them to us at FentonFenna Farm in Ruthvoes. Alternatively, of course, if you are not too far away and the volume is enough we can pick up your collected apples.
For more information please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
kgs collected so far in 2021...
Progress towards our 5 tonnes target for 2021
Some of the things we are asked most frequently about!
How long does it take from apple pressing to the cider being ready?
The process of cider making shouldn’t be rushed! I have learnt from painful experience that if you try to push cider on too quickly the results are a poor cider which can be over carbonated if bottled too quickly.
Cider needs time to mature, it is all dependant on the temperatures in the cider house as well as the apples used. Typically cider will take 6 months to mature sufficiently for bottling. So if we are pressing in October it should nearly be ready for drinking in May.
What sort of apples do you use?
We use any apples that are available. They may be dessert, cooking, crab or cider apples. We blend the apples when we mill and press them so to try and get a balance of sweet and bitter to give a great cider. If we don’t achieve the right balance we blend the cider later in the process
Is there a maximum amount of apples we can bring?
No, there is no maximum amount you can bring but please tell us in good time before bringing a lot of apples so we can plan to receive them. There is a maximum of cider or apple juice we give in return though in order to make it viable. We give 1 bottle per 25Kg sack up to a maximum of 3 case, 36 bottles. We can only take a limited amount of Cooking Apples, so please check before bringing these.
If we have different varieities of apples does it matter if we mix them all up?
If at all possible, please keep different varieties of apples separate. Different apples are suited to juice, cider or chutney and jams so we’re keen to know which varieties are there so we can process them in different ways.
When are the apples ready?
We prefer apples that are ripe. This isn’t necessarily when they are falling from the tree as a tree may shed some apples for many reasons. Please check by cutting an apple in half and checking the colour of the pips. They should be dark brown. In addition, when you shake the branch they should easily fall to the ground.
How careful do I need to be when picking the apples?
Care should always be taken when picking apples but especially when making apple juice. No bruised or damaged fruit can be used to make apple juice. We usually pick the apples we use for juice into baskets to help protect them.
For cider making the fruit may be bruised slightly but must not be rotten. We usually pick the apples and put them in string sacks which keeps them in good condition.
Do we need to book a slot for delivery of our apples to you?
If you can email us ahead that is helpful so we can ensure somebody is on site to receive the apples. Ideally the apples should be delivered to our new site at Fentenfenna Farm in Ruthvoes. However, if you are close to St Austell you can deliver them there and we will take them over.
Where should we deliver the apples?
You can deliver them to us in St Austell or to Fentenfenna Farm, Ruthvoes. We will be doing all our processing on hte farm from the Autumn of 2020 onwards.
Do you take all apples?
If your apples are good enough to eat then it is likely we will take them. We can only take a limited amount of Cooking Apples, so please check before bringing these. We cannot take any rotten apples or anything that has remained on the ground for too long and has started to decay.
Just some of our many donors from around Cornwall helping us make great traditional cider and apple juice and getting to enjoy the fruits of their orchards.
We also welcome volunteer pickers. If you feel you can help please get in touch!
KNOW YOUR APPLE VARIETIES
If you are curious to know the varieties of apples, we are building a list of apple varieties and are happy to share them with you.