Farmer Andrew & his daughter Rachel have been busy this month as they complete the apple picking and pressing for next year’s batch of Silly Moo Cider.
Based in Cowfold, Trenchmore Farm harvests traditional cider apples from its 1600 trees, which are pressed into juice. This is blended with juice from the garden apples brought to the farm by the local community in return for cider. This swap is an important part of Silly Moo Cider’s story as it results in the successful marriage of the East Coast and West Country cider styles and is a great way to reduce food waste locally.
The team at Trenchmore were delighted to receive two gold stars at this year’s Great Taste awards for Silly Moo Cider where the judges said:
‘Nice balance of tannins and sweetness and acidity. Bright appley, clean flavours. Not what we were expecting from a ‘farmhouse’ cider. Elegant, well made and complex flavours. Subtle, but all the better for it.’
Once the juice has been pressed and blended, it is left to ferment with the help of wild and wine yeasts. Commercial ciders can go from juice to bottle in a matter of weeks but this cider won’t be ready until the spring as it slowly ferments over winter.
Rachel explains “The name Silly Moo is a tribute to the Trenchmore Beef herd, who are very excited – silly moos – when they get to enjoy the apple pulp after pressing each autumn”.
All photos @chloe.hardwick
Before bottling a little fresh apple juice is added to balance the taste. The cider is unpasteurised, vegan and gluten free with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Just pure Sussex apple juice and quite a lot of patient fettling.
Rachel will be handing out samples of Silly Moo at Stansted Farm Shop on Saturday 17th November, 12-2pm.
As the nights cool, then a mulled cider is a great option. Add two bottles of Silly Moo, 1 tsp of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and bay leaves to a saucepan and gently warm through.
Stir in sugar to taste. Remove from the heat after 5 mins and let the mulled cider seep for a few minutes.