A pipe dream

As someone born and raised in the city, I have a rose tinted view of the countryside; filled with gambling lambs, burbling steams and, as I increasingly explore further West... apples and cider. That said, sitting at a desk churning out emails and powerpoint and commuting with your nose in someones armpit makes for a rather unsatisfying existence. I realise that which ever way you look the grass is greener, but making a living from making something appeals, so I thought I'd dip my toe in the water.

In January I decided to to plant some trees (7) on a patch of land clinging to the side of a hill on the edge of Dartmoor. I've a mix of different varieties all native to the SouthWest. Once the nettles had been cleared and the trees planted they looked like a rather un prepossessing group of twigs but despite my ministrations survived their first summer.  They need to do a fair bit of growing and I'm still in the city escaping for an occasional weekend in the country but I'm hoping to make some cider and see where I go from there.

Last month we collected apples from gardens, crabs and hedgerows and pressed enough to fill a 30l container which is now bubbling away happily to itself and I hope not making me a lifetimes supply of vinegar.

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