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We set up Darley Abbey Cider Company Ltd in March 2016 to realise a dream of producing great-tasting artisan cider using locally grown apples. This wasn't just about making great local cider, but creating value from a natural resource and minimising waste in the process.
So the vision was simple: invite local residents to donate any apples they didn't intend to use themselves and in return they would receive their own bottled cider using a proportion of the apples provided; involve anyone who wanted to get involved in the pressing process to help out; and donate any residual apple pulp to local pig owners.
The response from local residents was amazing. During the course of September and October we hand-picked over 30,000 apples from over 100 gardens, allotments and small orchards across Derbyshire. With the help of friends, neighbours and interested volunteers we completed three two-day pressings producing a combined total of 3,000 litres of apple juice. Oh yes, and we generated around 500kg of fresh apple pulp for local pigs!