Apple Day has become, over the last five years, an important day in the Fairfield calendar: apple pressing, cider tasting, bouncy castles, food outlets, children’s activities and much more. But sadly it involves too many people in too close contact to be sensible or Covid-safe, so this year’s event has been cancelled.  

However, the apple trees haven’t heard of the dreaded virus and have been gallantly producing their apples as usual, so please go out and pick them. They should be ready from September – the East Orchard is mostly cookers, whilst the West Orchard is almost all eaters. Do check out the windfalls: often they are fine to eat or cook with, although it is a good idea to wash them and cut them in half to check there aren’t any bugs. Do you know what is worse than finding a maggot in an apple you have bitten into? Finding half a maggot!! We look forward to seeing everyone sharing their delicious Fairfield apple cakes and bakes on Facebook, we know from lockdown posts that there are lots of bakers out there!

Apple pressing, always the highlight of Apple Day, yielding first delicious apple juice and then cider, is also still possible. There are plans to make use of the apple presses owned by the community, with opportunities for us all to bring along the apples we’ve picked and then to press them ourselves. Watch this space for more details next month.

Another casualty of the virus (it’s never ending isn’t it?) is Halloween. Those of us who were here last year will remember the chaotic scenes as Fairfield was invaded by the whole of the East of England, or so it seemed! We were victims of our own success, putting on such a magnificent spectacle that everyone wanted to come. There were worries about this year anyway, but the virus has now decided the matter: Brunel Walk has made the brave decision not to decorate. Although no one can prevent others from putting up the ghosts and ghouls, for this year the responsible thing is to resist doing anything that will draw crowds. So along with most of of 2020, Halloween as we know it is cancelled. 

…but there is plenty to be grateful for

Apple Day may be off, but there are still plenty of apples to be picked – they should be ripe from September. And Fairfield is also abundant in blackberries and elderberries in late summer and early autumn.