Every year thousands of tonnes of apples go to waste in orchards and gardens. Too ugly for the supermarkets, the waste on the farms is even greater with an estimated 10-15% of all commercially grown fruit and veg being thrown out.
“But I can’t eat all my apples!”, I hear you cry. Many fruit tree owners struggle to know what to do with their windfall and surplus, and get sick of apple pies and chutney by mid-November. But there are other ways to preserve your fruit for the rest of the year and reduce your food wastage in the process.
Determined to change the record, we set out on a mission to save London’s apples in 2016. With our growing band of volunteers, we set up an urban harvesting and juicing enterprise to turn unloved fruit into a scrumptious London-brewed cider, affectionately named Local Fox. Cider is a wonderful way to preserve those extra, neglected apples and transform them into a delicious tipple that you can enjoy for years to come.
Through our community cider hub, we have rescued an incredible 12 tonnes of apples from rotting since 2016; we are even on track to meet our target of 40 tonnes by 2019.
That’s a whopping 60,606 bottles of Local Fox Cider! All made from 100% London apples and lovingly handcrafted!
Since the project began, we have trained and worked with around 700 volunteers. By coming out to help harvest and press, they say they feel more connected to nature and food sources. As well as learning to make cider, they are also contributing to keeping UK orchards alive and thriving. In return for donating fruit, the Local Fox cider hub gives back either cider / juice or tools and training to care for their fruit trees.
If you want to share in the joys of cider-making, and participate in ‘slow’ food procurement, we’ve shared an excellent cider recipe below. You can be a food waste hero from the comfort of your own home!
Before you scroll down to find it, we hope you’ll take a moment to visit our Crowdfunding campaign page and help us continue our innovative, unique community cider project. We need to raise £17,500 to continue transforming waste fruit into delicious drinks and training our volunteers.Donate Now
A Refreshing and resourceful recipe for cider
All the equipment listed below can be purchased cheaply online.
- 4.5-litre demijohn
- Juicer, or a blender and muslin cloth 10kg apples
- Campden tablet
- Airlock & bung
- Heavy duty swing-top bottles
1. Source your apples: when it comes to Autumn there is no shortage of apples littering our gardens and roadsides. If possible pick your apples from several trees including eaters and cookers for a balance of sweetness, tannin, and acidity. Any apple, any size, wonky or blemished can go into making your cider.
2. Clean & sterilise your equipment: use a sterile solution made from dissolving one Campden tablet in water. Make sure you rinse well with hot water to remove any residue.
3. Wash, chop and juice your apples: your everyday juicer, or blender and muslin cloth will do the job.
4. Decant your golden juice into a 4.5-litre demijohn and add a Campden tablet to destroy any unwanted bacteria.
5. Attach your airlock: this is crucial as it allows carbon dioxide created during fermentation to be released while preventing any air or critters from entering.
6. Leave to ferment, for a couple of weeks until the bubbles form very slowly signalling that the fermentation has finished.