Over the weekend of October 13th - 14th, our annual Apple & Fruit Weekend took place – and what a weekend it was! It felt like we had all the seasons in the space of two days, with rain, wind, and finally beautiful sunshine on the Sunday. We hugely enjoyed seeing so many of you pop on down to Beetham Nurseries to join us for a wonderful weekend filled with apple tastings, kids’ entertainment, live music, and much more!
Throughout the weekend apple tastings were available, while an apple press was kept busy turning your apples into freshly squeezed juice.
On the Saturday of Apple & Fruit Weekend, we were joined by Andy Gilchrist, Chairman and Newsletter Editor of the South Lakeland Orchard Group, who was on hand to identify apples as well as offering his expert advice on growing apple trees.
We were also joined by a few of our local suppliers, Lakeland Mues and Hawkshead Relish, who braved the rain to bring us delicious tastings of their artisan produce – all of which is made locally, by hand. Hawkshead Relish’s award-winning Black Garlic Ketchup went down a treat, while a new twist on the popular product - Black Garlic Pickle - was equally popular on the day!
Lakeland Mues brought plenty of hand toasted muesli to try in a variety of flavours, such as Berry Blast and The Artman Classic. Toasted by hand in Cumbria, it's a treat for the taste buds and we thoroughly enjoyed trying each and every blend.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Bob's Owls kept a rapt audience completely enthralled by his three beautiful owls: Kinda, Wispa and Bounty. We were all able to hold Kinda, a beautiful Snowy Owl with soft feathers and a calm temperament, and greatly enjoyed seeing all the owls - Bob was rarely without a crowd around him over the weekend!
Sunday dawned dry and cloudy, breaking into beautiful sunshine by the afternoon for a stunning end to a lovely weekend. Farm Yard Ales joined us from Moss Edge Farm in Cockerham, bringing their craft beer and good vibes to our Apple Weekend, while Yorkshire-based Dark Woods Coffee brought specialty brews and expert knowledge on all things coffee. They also brought a new blend, “Common Ground”, the beans of which are aged in bourbon barrels for a few weeks before being roasted.
On Saturday, Karl from Bongo Balloons entertained with an array of balloon sculpted creations, while on Sunday, Kendal band, Scrogan's Run provided us with the perfect acoustic soundtrack.
Meet The Judge: Craig Sherrington
This year, we welcomed TV chef Craig Sherrington as judge of the Great Beetham Apple Pie Competition. As well as running the popular Craig's Kitchen at Virginia House in Ulverston, Craig also recently competed on the BBC's Great British Menu, reaching the final stages of the hotly contested competition! As well as lending his expert palate to choosing a competition winner, Craig also put his extensive chef’s skills to use on the morning of the 14th with a cooking demonstration using various types of apples.
Every year we’ve held the Beetham Nurseries Apple Pie Competition, it’s been a hard-fought contest with a close battle for first place – and this year was no different! Ulverston-based chef Craig Sherrington was tasked with the difficult job of judging the Great Beetham Apple Pie Competition 2018 and we were both envious, and glad we didn’t have to choose ourselves – as it would have been a near impossible task!
An array of beautifully baked apple pies found their ways to the judge’s table, in a range of shapes and sizes. Craig Sherrington commented that he’d never seen such a fantastic selection of apple pies and we’re sure you’ll agree. Choosing a winner was going to be a challenge (albeit a delicious one!).
Pies were judged individually based on Taste, Texture, Appearance and Creativity. The scores were tallied up and the moment of truth arrived. A huge congratulations went to Wendy Allen, who came in first place with her beautifully decorated, wonderfully flavoured apple pie, taking home the grand prize of a £50 Beetham Nurseries gift voucher.
Thank you to all who entered our Apple Pie competition – Craig thoroughly enjoyed tasting all your pies and found it incredibly challenging to pick a winner in a very closely fought competition.