One of the best things about cohousing is having access to many helping hands when you need them. Bridport Cohousing has an allotment plot at Flaxhayes which has a very lovely cooking apple tree on it. Apple trees go through years of abundant harvests and then very ‘lean’ years when there is hardly a crop worth picking. This can be due to late frosts and other weather conditions preventing the setting of the blossom, but it can also be due to the tree taking a year off to rest. We experienced such a year in 2020 but there were plenty of lovely apples for us to get down off the tree this year.

We use permaculture principles for our land and food growing and we hate any waste. This year all the windfalls were gathered up for juicing and many of the ones that we picked off the tree had been tunnelled into by an insect so were no good for storing. A couple of overgrown marrows and cucumbers also went into the press with the apples to give extra juice and we got about 20 litres of lovely juice to take home. All the bad bits, cores and pressed waste went onto the compost heap. A lovely companionable shared job, which would have been tiring for one or 2 people turned into an afternoon of laughter and friendship.