St Agnes Apple Juice Added To Local Produce Range

harvest festival 2011A St Agnes couple has added to the range of local produce available in Scilly.

Mike and Christine Hicks have started selling apple juice from fruit harvested on the island.

The Westward Farm brand includes juice from the rare Scilly Pearl apple variety.

Mike says that apple doesn’t produce much juice and is “a bit bland” so they mix it with other locally grown apples, including Bramleys.

The business idea came about because Mike wanted to use a surplus of apples from the half tonne of fruit that they picked last year.

The 2012 harvest produced 60 pints of juice.

Mike says some has fermented and he’s been drinking the cider. He’s unsure whether to pursue commercial alcohol production but the couple have bought new apple pressing equipment after hand-grating the fruit last year.

That should increase production and they’re keen to add to the yield in a partial move away from bulb growing.

Last year they planted an additional 30 apple trees and they plan to add more this autumn.

Mike says it will be three to five years before those trees boost production, but he views this as a long term project.

The process has been a “steep upward learning curve” but he says he’s keen to add to the range of food and drink being produced on the islands.

At the moment the apple juice is only being sold on the island and Mike currently has no plans to sell it on the mainland.