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Two easy but tasty seasonal cider recipes

Two easy but tasty seasonal cider recipes

Cider’s a hugely versatile ingredient – both in the kitchen and the drinks cabinet.  From mulled cider in winter to our favourite summer punch, there’s more to Gray’s Devon Cider than you might think. Try out one of these family recipes to really make the most of the apple flavours. Gray’s Summer Cider Punch Over some crushed ice, mix a litre of Gray’s Medium Blend with half a litre of fresh orange juice and a good splash of orange squash.At this point you can add either half a litre of lemonade for a sparkling “refresher”, or 200-300mls of dark rum...

See you at the Devon County Show – better late than never!

See you at the Devon County Show – better late than never!

There’s great cheer on the farm this week as we look forward to the 125th Devon County Show – a little different this year, but a welcome return after its cancellation last year.   However, coming in July this year poses new challenges – it’s a very busy time of year and we have sheep to shear and hay to cut!   Meanwhile the apples are set and quietly growing, whilst our ewes and new lambs happily graze our orchards, keeping the grass short ready for the fallen apple crop in October.  Where is the year going?! Hope to see you all...

Here we came a-Wassailing!

Here we came a-Wassailing!

It seems a long time ago now – but today we’re remembering this event, held in the depths of chilly January.  The centuries-old Pagan tradition of Wassailing involves singing in the apple orchards, to charm the trees and the spirits into providing a good harvest. Over the last few years, we’ve established a tradition for a Halstow Wassail in conjunction with artists and academics – a celebration of the folklore and science behind the creation of cider.   It’s all happened thanks to a collaboration between us and the University of Exeter’s Arts & Culture department, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum...

Apple blossom season is here

Apple blossom season is here

It’s the most glorious time of year – when the orchards leap into life and the pink and white apple blossom flowers. Bountiful blossoms are a good sign for a healthy harvest ahead, but in the coming weeks we need to rely on the bees to do their job.  Pollination is what prompts the apples to be formed at the base of each flower. Following our wonderful Halstow Wassail earlier in the year, on Old Twelfth Night, we have every hope and expectation of a bumper harvest, but just to help things along, folk singer/songwriter Jim Causley serenaded the trees...

Folk Music on the Farm: 9-10 July, 2022

Folk Music on the Farm: 9-10 July, 2022

We’ve got two wonderful events to share with you this summer as we welcome Devon folk singer Jim Causley to the farm. Jim is a multi award-winning singer and songwriter, who has been associated with Halstow for several years through our arts and cider projects.  Mojo Magazine called him the “finest singer of his generation” and we’re honoured to have had our very own wassail song written and performed by him over the last few years. Songs in the Cellar Saturday 9th July, from 7pm £20 per person Join us on this summer evening in our cider cellar for an...

Come Wassail with us!

Come Wassail with us!

Just a week to go until this year’s Wassail – a centuries-old tradition of singing to bless the trees for a good apple harvest. This continues the Halstow Wassail tradition – established over the last few years in conjunction with artists and academics as a celebration of the folklore and science behind cider making.   Each year we invite people to join us in our orchards to take part in the ceremony and hear songwriter Jim Causley sing our very own Halstow wassailing song, before sharing a sip from the Wassail cup to promote a healthy crop. If you’d like to...

A Devonshire Frawzy

A Devonshire Frawzy

We’ve been to a Frawzy!!  Designed to help us all keep in touch with our Devon roots – or learn more about our home county, A Devonshire Frawzy took place in Crediton late last month.. A “frawzy” is an old Westcountry word for a treat, and this event celebrated authentic Devonshire food and dialect.  Gray’s Farm Cider provided some traditional still cider from our centuries old recipe whilst Dr Paul Cleave presented an interactive discussion around food and culture. Everyone was invited to bring and share their own home cooked Devonshire delights and Jim Causley provided musical entertainment.   We had...

Devon County Show 2023

Devon County Show 2023

As always, Gray’s Farm Cider will be at the Devon County Show – always a great opportunity for us to say hello to new customers and catch up with old, and for you to taste the cider and buy it by the glass or the gallon! This year is particularly exciting because we’re back inside the Food and Drink tent.  After three years of disruption due to Covid, the show will look its old self again.  It’s even back in May as usual. Cancelled in 2020, and with an outdoor Food and Drink enclosure at a later July show for...

Hello Spring!  News from the farm…

Hello Spring!  News from the farm…

It’s always a hive of activity in spring, not least because we are lambing and the population swells by hundreds!  Now we’ve almost finished, we’ve welcomed over 700 new lives onto Halstow Farm. May is British Cider Month when the orchards come into bloom and fruit begins to set.  We’ve been out and about at events to share the centuries old recipe that Gray’s Devon Cider is known for.  Here’s Ruth over at Greendale Farm Shop a couple of weeks ago handing out samples. In April we hosted a wildlife survey on the farm. Devon has a number of Wildlife...

Winter Catch up

Winter Catch up

We’d like to think January might be a quieter time on the farm – it never is!  Despite that, we’re taking a moment to reflect on what’s happened since the last blog. After our fabulous blossom in May and good weather whilst the fruit was setting, it was a great harvest.  On a gorgeous July day we beat the bounds of the farm, with members of local singing groups, Mariner’s Away (a shanty crew) and the Sandford Singers.  Jim Causley led the way and for the first time, performed his new song for Halstow “Beating the bounds of fields around...

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