Autumn is here and although things are a little different this year, Jersey Heritage is still celebrating the apple harvest and the Island’s cider making tradition, and Islanders have been keen to show their support.
Two days of apple picking in the Orchard at Hamptonne Country Life Museum are already fully booked, and pre-booked slots to watch volunteer cider makers at work to mark the annual Cider Festival, La Faîs'sie d'Cidre, are filling up fast.
Meanwhile, apple-related activities will go online for families to enjoy this weekend with the latest Discovery Day, supported by Lloyds Bank. Apple Apprentice will include apple facts, things to make and do and some history about cider making, and will be available in the Heritage at Home hub on www.jerseyheritage.org on Sunday (27th).
La Faîs'sie d'Cidre, which is sponsored by Islands, is one of Jersey Heritage’s most popular events, usually drawing hundreds of people up to Hamptonne over a weekend of celebrations. Nicky Lucas, Jersey Heritage’s Events Curator, explained that although the festival couldn’t take place in its usual format over the weekend of 17-18 October due to restrictions on public gatherings, it was still important to celebrate the cider making tradition.
She said: “For this year only, we’re celebrating cider making in a different way. It’s all about the apples in 2020 and the annual apple picking and cider making continues, despite Covid-19. It’s important to preserve the Island’s rich heritage of cider production and to provide opportunities for community involvement so that the traditions can be handed down to future generations. We also need to ensure that you have something to taste at La Faîs'sie d'Cidre 2021!
“Islanders have already shown their enthusiasm for apple picking and we’re looking forward to seeing them in the Orchard at Hamptonne. We’d also encourage people to pre-book a slot to come and support the cider makers in October, watch them at work and see first-hand how it’s done. Hamptonne will not be open to the general public as it usually is over the weekend of La Faîs'sie d'Cidre, but there is always a special atmosphere when the cider press is working its magic and old traditions are being brought to life, which we’re sure people watching will enjoy.”
Numbers are limited for the hour-long sessions to watch the cider making and spaces must be pre-booked. Those with a pre-booked slot will be the only visitors allowed on-site over the weekend of La Faîs'sie d'Cidre. Hamptonne will not be open to the general public.
Jim Purkiss, from Islands, which has sponsored La Faîs'sie d'Cidre for the past few years, said: “We are delighted to see that Jersey Heritage is continuing to adapt to the safety regulations around events, yet still bringing the tradition of cider making to life for the community. Those who don’t book a slot for the cider making activity will have the chance to watch the whole process through a new cider making film. Islands are proud to be part of this activity – through our sponsorship of La Faîs'sie d'Cidre, Jersey’s cider making story will be available in-person and online.”
The cider making film will be available to view online at the end of October.
For more information about this year’s La Faîs'sie d'Cidre and to book a slot to watch the cider making, go to www.jerseyheritage.org/cider