Pruning the apple and pear trees is a huge task every winter. We aim to have the pear trees done before Christmas and do the apple trees in the New Year. We're behind schedule this year. Bright, mild, dry days like today make a difference. Unfortunately for our pruning team they have been out there every day for the past two months, in bitter cold, wind, rain, and sleet.
The cold always gets through no matter how well wrapped you are and at the very least you end up with cold feet, especially at Wrabness where the wind comes straight off the river. We use electric pruners powered by a battery back-pack, which save us from RSI to our hands and wrists, but you always feel like you've done a hard day's work!
We're very excited to announce that from 1 December, three of our juices will be available in 23 Chelmsford Star Cooperatives in and around Chelmsford. Chelmsford Star is an independent co-operative society operating in Essex with an ambition to support Essex food and drink producers through their "Only Way is Local' campaign.
We met Chelmsford Star's Stewart Linehan, Stock & Merchandising Manager, recently at the Coggeshall Food Festival and got chatting about our aim to give a new lease of life to the apples and pears we grow and cannot sell. Stewart says:
“I recently attended the Coggeshall Food festival with my family where we came across a horse trailer selling warm cups of mulled juice and bottles of Apple and Pear juice. I got chatting to Pete Thomson who gave me the background story about Cotchel and the great work they are doing, not only reduce food waste, but also to produce great tasting juice with bold and bright bottle design - something that I felt had a place within our local food range.”
Chelmsford Star Coops will stock three of our juices: Braeburn; Opal and Braeburn & Conference Pear.
Perfect timing for the festive season as Braeburn & Conference Pear Juice has complex spicy flavours and is delicious warmed gently with mulling spices. The perfect non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine or cider at Christmas.
We've been pressing and bottling fruit as Tendring Fruit for four years, a collaboration between two old farming families, but we've decided to change our name to Cotchel to reflect our commitment to using unloved fruit. We explain why. . .
It’s no coincidence that Apple Day falls just as we end our apple harvest. Nor that we have chosen Apple Day to launch our new website which we hope is good introduction to Cotchel and our ambition to give a new lease of live to unloved fruit. This is our first blog and we’ll be adding more on a monthly basis as well as starting a regular email newsletter which you can sign up for below.