Apple juicing in the Teifi Valley has started with a bang – three weeks earlier than previous years.
Clynfyw Care Farm in Abercych, north Pembrokeshire’s apple juicing service, got away to a flyer last week as the first apples of the 2023 season came in, three weeks earlier than previous years, starting in late August.
“We have been running the juicing service since 2014,” said Michael Jones, one of the juicers at Clynfyw Farm.
He added: “It has grown year on year and last year we made over 11,000 bottles for over 150 different tree owners. It is an epic adventure for a few months, and by the end of October none of us ever want to see another apple again! By the next autumn we are ready and keen to get going again.”
West Wales imports thousands of gallons of apple juice each year, while many people have their own trees dropping fruit which goes wasted.
“There are more community resilience schemes like this starting up all the time,” said Clynfyw’s manager, Jim Bowen, adding: “With the changing climate and related food insecurity the more schemes like this there are the better it is for all of us.
“It is interesting how early the apples are this year.
“The knock-on effect of the record breaking temperatures last year, and then the floods this year really show us how fragile our food supplies can be. With the cost of living crisis too, the more we can use free food productively, the better it is for everyone.”
Clynfyw has 250 trees and sells apple juice in local shops, while other growers bring apples which they use themselves, give away as gifts and sell to shops in their locality.
People come from as far away as Brecon to use the service.
“It is really good,” said Hywel Davies, who lives in supported tenancy at Clynfyw and is involved in the juicing process too.
“We like helping people here and the money Clynfyw makes goes towards funding shipping containers full of wheelchairs to South Africa and Kenya, which means we are helping people miles away too. It is hard to find fault with the scheme.”