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2011 already!
Autumn leaves are fallin'
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The Ciderist's Apprentice
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Autumn leaves are fallin'

October already- time to blow the cobwebs off the broomstick

Oh heck, what with twittering and facebooking I keep forgetting to blog.  Doesn't help that I get the evils from Neil for drinking tea and tapping on the laptop when he is left with 100s of boxes of books, cards, gifts, wines, beers and liqueurs to unpack for the imminent apple festival,  Brogdale's biggest gig of the year (although the cider festival this year broke all box office records).  So, we've spent the last few days ordering, unpacking, pricing and shelving lots of fabulous stuff, anticipating that people will choose this weekend to start their Christmas shopping (apologies for using the C word when there's still over two months to go).


Well that link didn't seem to work IN MY LAST BLOG, which is annoying, so here it is again


Check this out folks - it has to be the best deal ever!  Even if you don;t bring the kids, two adults getting in for less than a tenner is a fantastic offer...

1,000 litres down, 1,000 to go!

Well, we acquired a second-hand apple press - a twin-bed rack and cloth monster with a mill attached that chews up and splats out up to a whole bulk bin of apples in less than an hour - and, one huge shopping list later (rubber aprons & gloves, flexi tubs, filters, jugs, massive storage tanks, airlocks, bungs .. it goes on ...) we have had a crack at making our own cider, using apples from the national fruit collections.  Two days of slog later, ending each day looking like we'd been barfed on by a party of drunken teenagers, we finally managed to fill one tank to the top and it's now time to let nature take it's course.  Hopefully if the temperature doesn't plummet too deeply too quickly we'll be OK - they say a slow fermentation is best - but if not, cider vinegar anyone??

The sun shines on the righteous ..

Or as Bernie the new marketing & events manager said, it was the luck of the Irish, but however it might have come about we were all basking in the sunshine once again for the cider festival.  Although this year it wasn't really the cider festival as we have come to know it over the last 12 or so years, as Brogdale's events team have decided to go with more of a family feel and abandoned the old barn for a smart marquee in the showfield.  A bit of a sea change for the regulars who have been coming for years - no more Tiddly Pomme 'fruity folk' bar with its 60 ciders and perrys on offer, but instead professional mobile bar operators offered a handful of local ciders alongside the usual beers, wines and Magners (there was even a Magners seating area), although Biddenden Vineyards did have a stall too.

Where did the summer go?

Can't believe it is halfway through September.  It's been months since I posted anything here which is very lax of me.  We had time away due to a family bereavement in early July, then took time out to help out with our 'Grow' RHS show gardens at Hampton Court and Tatton Park, with the Kent Show sandwiched somewhere in between.  Spent August catching up with the paperwork and the housework, and suddenly the autumn is around the corner, and the first of the big Brogdale Festivals is this coming weekend.
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