Local crop processing project FAA/apple and pear processing study trip 2016

From Food Hacking Base
Jump to navigation Jump to search

(Click here for the main page of this project in EN version or klikněte zde pro hlavní stránku tohoto projektu v češtině)

The main focus of this trip in the autumn of 2016 will be on apple cider and perry production. The goal of this journey is to visit places which have both long tradition of apple and pear making and produce variety of those and other high quality products. In order for this trip to be fruitful the planning needs to be done well in advance, on several levels and in different areas, it is truly multidisciplinary endeavour. Establishing relationships with people and organizations active in the fields mentioned above for the future collaboration is one of the priorities of this trip.


During the autumn season 2016 I (Algoldor) have decided to visit only one cider region, Normandie. There were several reasons for that. I had already contacts in the region, I was delayed on my return from South Korea and I had financial constrains. I've divided my stay in Normandie into two visits, first between 27/10-4/11 and second 3/12-15/12/2016. During the first part I have stayed at La Ferme du Vastel during the main autumn collective harvest event. I've helped and observed the way how Christophe Bouvet organizes his cider apple harvest, storage and partly processing. It has to be noted, that due to the harvest season coming late we have been harvesting cider apples for juice, not for making cider, because they were not ready for that yet. We have tasted variety of cider samples which Christophe is brewing - organic, wild fermented, non pasteurized cider without any chemicals added. We also tried some of his calvados and pomo. I've visited also the Musée Régional du Cidre, which I've found very interesting and I can definitely recommend. I've been also traveling the region a bit, visiting Cherbourgh which is the main center of this region and other mostly coastal parts of Normandie which I have found really beautiful. When leaving for Czech Republic to continue my own harvest, I have brought selection of ciders for tasting and cider apples so I can make my own brewing experiments.

During the second stay from 3-15/12/2016 I have helped with harvesting the cider apples for cider making, learned more about the dynamic of the cidrerie and visited more places in the region, staying also for several days in different places. Importantly I have decided to apply for course of French language and stay in Normandie for another half year or more so I can learn more about cider, get contacts in this field and gather funds for the current and future projects, with cider activities playing important role. All in all I was really happy with my stays and I hope to join at least part of the next harvest season 2017 again.


(most likely to visit are first on the list)

Our form of transport is car so either we have to borrow the car, rent it or buy it, we will need to pay for the fuel and we should avoid toll roads. We will for sure visit either of or rather both Brittany and Normandy in France because of easy access, personal contacts and also because of the relatively easy way of buying and transporting cider apples (if the season is at least reasonably good) back to Kout na Šumavě. The costs of visiting Asturias which is around 2600 km (both directions) leaving from France would equal in fuel cost what we would have to pay for ferry to England, the second would be way less time constraining. However "pleasure" from travelling x money paid is much lower and we could not do stops to organize events to meet people on the road and get some resources back to cover up our budget. Visiting Ireland if we use ferry boarding with car from England would be around €300 extra. As mentioned above England and especially Ireland may be more expensive to access however the importance which England was and is playing in the history of cider makes it nearly mandatory to visit.

Dates and timing

  • 7th or 15th of September till 15th of October, these are the main deadlines, it may be moved few days around if necessary

The exact schedule of the trip will be adjusted in the next few months, we should have it set around the mid of August or so. We know that we will be leaving from Kout na Šumavě around either 7th of September so we make it to BalCCon 2k16 congress in Novi Sad, Serbia or around 15th of September going directly towards Western France. We will come back around 15th of October give or take few days. We need to stop on our way back in Normandy where we get the apples which we want to bring with us to Czech, that should be around 13th of October or so. Because of the time constrains we should think about dedicating one week to each region which we want to see, that results in four to five areas of interest to visit. As discussed in more detail in the General Info section we need 1-2 days for activities we run, 3-4 days for activities which are main focus of this trip and 1-2 days to take rest. If we do the trip with trailer, than first cider visiting place would be Normandy, leaving the trailer there and dedicating a week or ten days to the region, together with Brittany. Later crossing to England (possibly Ireland) without trailer directly from Normandy (otherwise would have to drive over 1200 km to Calais and back) lowering the ferry costs, extra fuel consumption and comfort of driving.

General info

The trip needs to be low budget. It is planned to sleep outside and at friends as much as possible, if it needs to be once in a week or so we can stay in the hostel. The weather should be still fine so the outdoor camping should be really nice. We will prepare both our own food and culinary delights for the events at the places which we visit, bringing therefore cooking gear and ingredients with us and buying necessary stuff and "special" things during the trip (we have to take care about cooling - cooling box with ice). We plan to eat well but by our own means mostly. The events will be done on regular basis and should decrease our food expenses greatly, based on previous experience I Algoldor, would say 70% down or so. Because we will prepare food together estimating €5 per person per day for ingredients, after deduction of roughly 70% or so results in €2 per day on food per person, sounds low but it is doable. This doesn't include eating out, that is an extra expense which each of the persons participating should consider and have some cash for!

In each region we visit we should do at least one or two events of our own to promote our culture and interests and bringing in money towards our budget. Those activities need to be coordinated and promoted with help of the local groups well in advance (1-2 months), if done properly they would cover considerable part of our travel costs, like during our previous tours. If we think for simplicity about four main regions to visit, one week for each than: 1-2 days for events which we organize, 3-4 day for the activities which are at the focus of this trip and 1-2 days to take a rest.

Trip option for Czech Republic, France and England

Costing from Kout na Šumavě, CZ to France Brittany and Normandi, several regions in England and back

  • Details:

Transportation Costing:

Shorter and cheaper journey

  • €304: Journey from Kout na Šumavě, Czech Republic directly to Brest in Brittany, Valognes in Normandy and Calais in France = +-2500 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l, (€12.15/100 km) = €304
  • €150: Ferry price from Calais, France to Dover, England (return), personal car combi, 2 person (18+)
  • €171: Journey around England - Dover, Gloucester, Worcester, maybe Manchester and back to Dover = +- 1400 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l = €171
  • €219: Journey from Calais to Normandy and to Kout na Šumavě = +-1800 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l = €219
  • €844 TOTAL transportation cost estimated; approximately TOTAL kilometers done = 5700 km; engine oil price?


Longer and bit more expensive journey

  • €547: Journey from Kout na Šumavě, Czech Republic to Novi Sad, Serbia and through Norther Italy (Milan), Switzerland (Geneve) and France (Lyon, Tours) to Brest in Brittany and Normandy in France = +-4500 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l, (€12.15/100 km) = €547
  • €300: Ferry price from Cherbourg-Octeville, Normandy in France to Portsmouth, England (return), personal car combi, 2 person (18+)
  • €171: Journey around England - Dover, Gloucester, Worcester maybe Manchester and back to Dover = +- 1400 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l = €171
  • €171: Journey from Normandy to Kout na Šumavě = +-1400 km, 9 l of diesel/100 km, price +- €1.35/l = €171
  • €1189 TOTAL transportation cost estimated; approximately TOTAL kilometers done = 7300 km; engine oil price?

Food&drink Costing:

  • €60 per person for the trip: €2 per day per person, €60 in total

Note - this price for food applies only under the condition that we do each week at least one or two food related events for public which bring donations in and is only for food which we prepare or we have with us, not for eating out

  • €200 food ingredients - before leaving Czech Republic or at the beginning of our trip in Germany we need to buy the base of our ingredient stock. We have some already from previous events, like for example spices, however most will have to be bought. Estimating €150-200 is sensible, we need to have them ready in advance, this money we should try to recover during the trip through the events, however with the transportation costs to cover too it may be bit difficult.


  • €60; one night in hostel per week if necessary, €15 per night, four nights per whole trip

Places of Interest



LOG of the journey

  • Wednesday 2/11/2016
    • I took off during the day and did a lovely trip around Normandie, visiting first a beach and staying there for a while, after that went to Cherbourg-Octeville and have a coffee with a friend who I met there by coincidence visiting later on the ". In the afternoon I went to the main stop of my trip "Musée Régional du Cidre" in Valognes. The museum was really great and I recommend to everyone to visit it!
  • Tuesday 1/11/2016
    • I think this day I got lost came home quite late, had lunch and picked up apples. I think I have prepared dinner (sunkofleky) and parted during the night.
  • Monday 31/10/2016
    • Morning shift again, picking later, party. I talked to Christophe more and we discussed ciders and cider making. He told me that the orchards which he uses he rents. He doesn't do really any pruning except some really bad branches. His procedure is that he lets all the apples fall he doesn't harvest any directly from the trees. The Normandie cider apples are mostly biters and they differ even in the Normandie region. He knows some of the apples by local names, his ancestors were doing ciders for a long time so he has also this knowledge. Party at the evening.
  • Sunday 30/10/2016
    • I have prepared kitchen for the daily chores and made breakfast and lunch meal. We were picking again during the day and partied during the night intensively, this time I stayed longer.
  • Saturday 29/10/2016
    • In the morning I have found some leftovers on the table and tasted them, they were very nice especially the calvados - it was very strong and viscous. I went for a walk and helped with cleaning, dish washing and a bit with breakfast. We have been harvesting apples in the afternoon starting around 13:30 or so for some three hours, ten people or over. I do not remember exactly the amount but it was over two tuns I think, most of the days it was 1.5-2.2 tuns. People would be picking up apples on their knees under the trees starting from the outer circle making sure they do not step and crush the apples. Good apples would be picked up to the "le panier"/basket, which would be picked by person dedicated to the job (you call "panier" and he would come with empty basket taking the full one). Each basket would be moved to the tractor trailer and small apple put in a bucket for each panier unloaded to keep the count - each panier is around 12 kg in average). The cider apples were quite small (check the photos) and many on each tree. All the apples which we harvested during my stay (till 4/11/2016) were used to make apple juice. They were mostly cider apples but they fall to the ground too early so they would not have enough fermentable sugars for cider. Bad apples under tree would be all picked up and thrown out in the grass in the walking paths. After cleaning the fruit under each tree, the rest of the fruit which will fall down will be used for cider - picked up in week or so and later. In the evening we had a big party which I enjoyed but just at the beginning.
  • Friday 28/10/2016
    • I left Czech Republic at 4:45 in the morning and arrived to Christoph's place at 21:45 with maximum of one hour of breaks. I joined the dinner, spend some time with the people and went to bed later on.


For each region we need to get in touch and organize events and program well in advance (one to two months).


Cider dedicated Museum, two hours

Cider Museum in Normandie

Andrew's Lea webpage about cider, very deep, broad and qualified source of knowledge about cider making from one of the top peoples in the field.

Jean Novell, well known teacher of cider making. This short video is a preview of upcoming film Golden Fire which "traces the history of production from 1945 to the present day".