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Shropshire's Seasonal Produce

Posted by Luci Ackers on 9 November 2015
Related property: Upper Norton
Apples and nuts Discover Shropshire's picturesque countryside Curltail are a Victorian variety that produce a fleshy protuberance right from the branch, rather than a stalk! The perfect time to forage There's all sorts of varieties to try out

This time of year is apple season in The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's the perfect time to produce juices, preserves, jellies, chutneys and cider.

Step forward Keith Pybus - local resident, broadcaster & “landscape detective”. Keith Pybus is the author of Blue Remembered Hills and occasionally organises walks for the guests of Upper Norton in Craven Arms, sharing his knowledge of our local wildlife.

In his book he mentions The Clunton Scrumpers, a local group of volunteer apple juice producers. They received AONB money for an apple macerator and juice press enabling them to host a community apple pressing day that was a real throwback to the old traditions of the region. The final count was 100 bottles of fresh juice.

Keith insists that apples have just as wide a range of flavour as wines do, and the fun is in the experimenting with different varieties. Products taste better, they are healthier, and you know just what you are ingesting! Despite some hard work, it sounds like the apple day was a huge success and lots of fun too.

"Someone brought along a load of russet apples, with their tough skins and their poor juice content. This slowed things up and jammed half the macerator... But things were soon flowing again!"

Shropshire is a fantastic place to walk, with trails and footpaths throughout. You'll come across evidence of the apple tradition dotted across the AONB with loads of orchards to admire and visit. The Shropshire Hills has, in the pas, embarked on an initiative to identify traditional orchards for the specific purpose of restoring them to their former glory.

It's all about the foraging, and knowing what to look for. Keith especially likes making his hedgerow jelly using hips, haws, rowan berries, elderberries, sloes and crab apples. Or a tangy green tomato chutney.

Buy Keith's book here to read the full story > www.amazon.co.uk

A quick guide for you...

Hips

 

 

 

 

 

Haws

 

 

 

 

 

Rowan

 

 

 

 

 

Elderberries

 

 

 

 

 

Sloes

 

 

 

 

 

Crabapples

 

 

 

 

 

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Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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