Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Waitati Open Orchards (WOO)

By Jason Ross

The Harvest Market always surprises me with who comes and what they bring,
and the March market was no exception. A great range of locally scrumped
apples arrived to put through the apple press making a huge amount of
delicious juice. Thanks to the generosity of those who donated to the WOO
Harvest Market stall, we raised enough money for many more trees for this
winter's plantings around Waitati streets.

At the April 17 market we will again have the traditional juice
press. Along with the not-so-traditional, super-modern insinkerator,
steampunked with retro formica in a bedside cabinet, apple grinder producing
apple pulp for the press. Ideas for this month's juicing include beetroot,
carrot and ginger to combine with the apple juice. ome along and join in
the fun of pressing or try the delicious nectar-like juice that this press

On the Sunday the weekend before this we will be harvesting fruit to juice.
This is a lot of fun and gives a great sense of seasonal abundance as we
pick buckets of fruit from some very productive local trees. Do you have
excess apples or pears that are of juice quality (they don't need to be
flash) that you would donate to the WOO fundraising stall? Give us a call
and we can do the picking, or bring them along on the day.


This special day will start with a thanksgiving service at 10.30 in
Hampden's beautiful, historic old Presbyterian Church. The Apple Day
celebrations will be ushered in by a "continuous morning tea" straight
afterwards (about 11.15am) in the buildings and tree-studded grounds of
the church and will finish about 3pm.

Apple Days feature displays of many types of apple and their uses that are
mostly long forgotten. The Open Orchard concept will be promoted, which
is to spread fruiting trees through our communities, in home orchards and in
the common ground. If you have any apples that could be of interest, bring
them along, as promoting local distinctiveness is what it's all about.

There will be cooking demonstrations, an operating cider press crushing out
a stream of delicious fresh apple juice from locally harvested fruit
(proceeds to the Church), along with Happy's Traditional Hot Roast Pork and
Apple Sandwiches. Musicians will try out the fine acoustics of the church,
and children can try their hand at games, old and new.

Waitati Open Orchards is a group of keen folk on a mission to plant fruit
trees in public spaces around Waitati for all to enjoy. Email to join our mailing list.

Photo: Kids enjoying last year's juice pressing.

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