The Best Food, Days Out & Days Away in Brighton, London and the Rest of the World

Wednesday

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day

There may have been rain for the first time in twelve years on Apple Day and it was the soaking-through type of rain but the day was still busy with volunteers, hardy dogwalkers, resilient sellers and families with kids that needed to run around.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


The main area was set up on the Green outside the front door of the grand eighteenth-century Stanmer House. On offer was a variety of apple related stalls. At the Orchard Advice stall you could talk to experts about any apples you might have in your own backyard and along a table in front of them were many local varieties such as the Alfriston, Crawley Beauty, Eastbourne Pippin and Knobby Russet.


Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day


Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day

Nearby was a table laid out with the most delicious looking apple pies and puds and next to that one, a bar serving cider, all made using local Sussex apples.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


A little further towards Stanmer village was Stanmer Organics where Herbalist Lisa Marie Davies was ready to answer any question you might have about Stanmer Organics, formed to support projects that promote health, well-being, education and greener more sustainable lifestyles,  including Brighton Permaculture Trust. Breathing SpaceFork and Dig ItFuture RootsLiving VitalOrganic-ArtThe Physic GardenSpecial Branch Tree NurseryStanmer Stone Works and The Centre for Ecotherapy.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Picturesquely situated in front of Stanmer's Norman church (visited by King George III) were hot drinks, barbecued meat and deep fried mother Bhumi's veg, yum. The plate of celeriac, onion and cabbage with tamarind and mango dips I was offered by Mother Bhumi was a perfect internal warmer. You can find her every weekend in Lewes town centre and she is well worth a visit.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


As well as this bounty of food and drink were sellers harnessing the natural world. At theLuddite.com were lovingly-restored tools with wooden handles such as one, I think, for digging out daisies called a daisy grubber (although I've just realised I'm not sure I know why you'd want to do that). Next door was Rob the Coppicer mid-making a hazel hurdle and further along was Barcombe Nurseries.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Freya and Martin who had grown the vibrant looking veg for Barcombe Nurseries were keen to encourage people to take up boxes and explained they were there to reassure everyone that that wouldn't mean getting tied in for a period of time or ending up with a load of veg you didn't want. Barcombe have been growing organic veg on 10 acres outside Lewes for the last 20 years and while I was there I got to try a cucamelon that looked like a watermelon in miniature and tasted like a cucumber.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Also on site for the day were volunteers from Stanmer's Preservation Society where I learned about the well that supplied the village until 1900 by the wheel turned by a donkey and some fascinating local history in the church.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac



Apple Day had been organised by Brighton Permaculture Trust whose mission it is to work with nature to balance environments, individual needs and communities. Fran on the management committee who helps coordinate the running of their 3x orchards and a forest garden was in the kitchen made of straw, a former Brighton Permaculture project and was making hot apple drinks and veg stews. The Brighton Permaculture Trust runs courses throughout the year on growing fruit trees, building with natural materials and permaculture for the garden.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


If you missed out on Apple Day and have a load of apples going to waste, a Brighton Permaculture Trust's Scrumping project, and they plan to be there every Sunday until 17 December (but it's best to check before you go). Take your apples or pears to the Fruit Factory in Stanmer village and turn your fruit into juice, vinegar and cider. In return for 10 kg of fruit you'll get a bottle of freshly pressed juice. That's reason number 347 for why I want an orchard.

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Days Out in Brighton - Apple Day photo by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Click here to visit the Brighton Permaculture Trust website.

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