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Ever Accidentally Bought an Orchard?

Ever Accidentally Bought an Orchard?

& get arty with us...  

Greetings, Ciderling!

We always say it, but that’s because it’s true…one of our favourite things about owning a cider biz is making new pals. 

Mick’s one of those pals.

A series of chance conversations led to him acquiring over 3,000 apple trees. Oops! 

Here’s how the happy accident occurred…

While helping his mum to clear her house to downsize, Mick saw the neighbour’s dog. It never missed an opportunity for a belly rub. The neighbour came too (for a chat, not a belly rub) and Mick mentioned he needed somewhere to store his touring caravan. The neighbour offered use of his patch of land, because country folk are nice like that. 😉

A few weeks later, the caravan was in situ and the dog came to Mick’s mum’s for another fuss. This time, talk turned to how the neighbour tried to sell the land the year before, but got mucked around. 

Mick immediately said “if you’re selling, I’m buying!”

Turns out, the plot included a large orchard that had come to the end of its commercial life many moons ago. It had been neglected for a good ten years or more before Mick bought it. Due to the demise of the UK apple industry *sob* it’s not worth replanting for profit, not that it matters to Mick. 

“Owning the orchard is a pleasure because of all the wildlife and serenity it brings. I wasn’t looking to buy anything but I just love the outdoors, probably because of growing up on a farm. Even though it doesn’t hold commercial value, the trees are still looked after and provide natural habitat for many animals and plants.”

Ahhh 🥰

We met Mick through a mutual friend at the Framfield Show, and started picking his apples for our cider. We get as much of our juicing stock as possible through waste, wonky, surplus, or “forgotten orchard” apples like Mick’s. Once we’ve juiced the apples, the pomace (the skin, core, mush, left overs) gets composted or fed to livestock. 

We’re so grateful to Mick. Without people like him, we wouldn’t have a business. So we’ve named two batches (so far…) after the man. 

Sometimes the right name is just THERE…

Cheeky Mick is a medium cider, an easy drinker made from a mix of Spartan and random eating apples. It’s light and crisply acidic with no edges and a long soft finish.

Terrible Discrace (it wasn’t a typo, Mick’s surname is Scrace) is a medium sweet, made with a mix of cookers, eaters, and cider apples. Acid led, crisp with lots of floral notes and a pleasing finish. If you go in for that sort of thing. 

And if you’re inspired to claim your own bit of wildlife wilderness, did you know you can buy your own woodland


Tap night this Friday

Gather around the warm glow of a fire pit at our second tap night of the year. We’ve got live music from the fantastic Mel & Marcel from, well, Mel & Marcel (as we said, sometimes the right name is just THERE) and fresh food from our pal Tim at Pioppi Pizza


Pop-up cider stall

And the tap keeps on a-flowing into June. We’re running a pop-up cider tasting event at the blackShed gallery on Saturday 15th June, 16:00 - 18:30. It’s part of the “Free As The Fields” project by Martin Brockman. Aptly, it’s FREE to come along! Get your ticket here. 


Easiest gift EVER?

Did you know you can gift someone a cider subscription? Starting at just £20+ postage, you can set it for every one, two or three months. And if the lucky recipient is local (TN22 1,2,4,5), we’ll deliver it for free. 

Bignose on the road

Hard at work or hardly working? 🤔 Bignose (aka Phil) went on a road trip this month to deliver cider to Eastbourne. While he was there, he took the opportunity to taunt Beardy (aka Steve) with a soft-scoop selfie. 

It’s a hard life, innit?


Dates for the diary

Tap nights
£5/ticket, 18:00 - 22:30

📅 Friday 31st May 2024
📅 Friday 28th June 2024
📅 Friday 19th July 2024
📅 Friday 6th September 2024

Psst…we run cidery tours on the same dates, and a tour gets you a free tap ticket. 

Orchard picking

Come and help with the harvest, have a chat about cidermaking, or just get a bit of exercise.

📅 Sunday 22nd September 2024 (Near Iden Green)
📅 Sunday 13th October 2024 (Near North Chailey)
📅 Sunday 20th October 2024 (Near High Hurstwood)

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