People are at the heart of what we do at The Orchard Project. Whilst we all care deeply about community orchards, local food and the issue of food waste, none of what we do would be possible or have the same value without the involvement of our fantastic volunteers.
From day one, our cider enterprise has engaged volunteers in all aspects of the harvesting and production process. We have an incredible group of volunteers that work with us, many giving their time on numerous days throughout apple season and beyond. The more that people volunteer, the more skills and knowledge they gain; many have even gone on to attend our accredited training in community orchard management. To date we have had in the of region 800 volunteers involved in making cider with us, – a pretty amazing number!
So what do they do?
Being outside in a beautiful traditional orchard for the day picking apples is (we think) one of the best activities that you can do on a volunteering day. The benefits of being outside in the fresh air while supporting our enterprise and meeting like-minded people, are topped off by the satisfaction of seeing a big pile of apples ready to be taken to the cider press. It’s a great activity for all ages.
“Picking and collecting apples with my children – lovely to participate in a community activity involving various generations rather than just adults .”- Marie, volunteer
Making the cider
Our cider simply wouldn’t make it onto the shelves if it wasn’t for the huge effort of our volunteers who are supported by our in-house cider team. Pressing a tonne of apples a day is hard work but also incredibly rewarding and an amazing team activity. You will doubtless be treated to the songs of Abba at a loud volume to keep you going, the charm and hospitality of our cider-makers, Lizzie and Rosa, and you’ll soon know your scratter from your rack.
“The overall thing was a great getaway where you’re learning on the job. Can’t wait to learn the other processes.” – Chris, volunteer
Other activities that we do with volunteers include bottling, labelling and sometimes even selling the cider. We tend to post opportunities to get involved on our website and social media so check these out if you would like to get involved yourself.
As we enter the final week of our crowdfunding campaign to Save our Community Cider Enterprise, (please do check it out if you haven’t yet), we are looking forward to being able to plan another year of working with amazing people and making a unique product that both reflects the variety of London’s orchards and London’s people!
A huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, supporters and Local Fox cider drinkers for your commitment to the cause.
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/localfox – now 80% of the way to our target!