October is when Jersey’s bountiful orchards are heavy with fruit and the apple harvest is in full swing. Traditional orchards, once plentiful, are still scattered over the island as the humble apple was Jersey’s main export as far back as the 19th century, long before Jersey Royal’s gained popularity. However, records show Jersey tables were adorned with mugs of cider in the 15th Century and seasonal farmworkers were actually paid in cider at one point!
Cider is just one of Jersey’s apple products with apple brandy and the bitter sweet treacle like preserve called Black Butter, another. As a Genuine Jersey product, small jars will be found in shops across the island. However, every year islanders and visitors are invited to take part in two traditional events; La Faîs’sie d’Cidre (Cider Festival) and Black Butter making.
Watch and join in with traditional cider making and the celebrations at Hamptonne Country Life Museum. Organised by Jersey Heritage, the weekend has a complete apple theme. Watch as horsepower is used to crush the apples or help with juicing. Take part in crafts, games and of course there’s plenty of cider tasting opportunities with CAMRA and La Robeline present. Craft markets and seasonal produce stalls will be selling local goodies including ‘Jersey Wonders,’ a traditional doughnut like snack. Entertainment continues in the evening with the ‘Sounds and Cider’ festival with live music in the entertainment marquee. Jersey Heritage and Jersey Pass members free with discounts for National Trust for Jersey and Société Jersiaise members. Normal admission prices applicable otherwise.