The Gaggle of Geese at Buckland Newton in Dorset is creating its own cider and apple juice in a village-wide community venture with support from rural pub champions, Pub is The Hub.
Simon and Sarah Colquhoun who own and run the Gaggle of Geese pub have collaborated with the community to produce Buckland Newton apple juice and cider using apples from their four acre garden as well as apples from the village garden orchards.
The couple took over the pub two years ago after it had been closed for three years. Following a ten month refurbishment, the pub reopened in May 2018. During the first Autumn they were open they were inundated with a glut of apples and pears from their own orchard and soon learned that trees in the rest of village were the same, generating a huge amount of wasted fruit.
When Simon and Sarah heard about Pub is The Hub and their community services fund they decided to apply for some help to turn their harvest into juice and cider. With a grant of £3,000 toward the cost of the equipment they have become proud owners of a scratter, a hydropress and all the paraphernalia needed to complete the pressing.
This Autumn, the local community has brought their windfalls and leftover fruit to the pub, and combined with their own fruit, Simon and Sarah have created several batches of Buckland Newton Apple Juice filling 300 bottles and they are being sold in the pub and local shop. Each 750ml bottle is sold for £3.50 and is also given to guests staying at the pub in their campsite and Shepherd’s huts.
Simon Colquhoun said: “We are thrilled to be creating something very natural and homemade from the community and relieved that we can use all the extra fruit from our collective orchards – there are only so many apple pies you can make! This would not have been possible without the support from Pub is The Hub and we are very grateful for their community services grant.”
Reg Clarke from Pub is The Hub added: “We loved the idea that this is a community juice and cider initiative. It’s a great way to bring the community together and to celebrate a natural asset that they have in abundance. We are all looking forward to sampling the cider when it’s ready.”