October 16 2014
The annual outing for the Wye Valley AONB volunteers saw a welcome return to Broome Farm in Ross on Wye. Ross cider which is owned by Mike Johnson is a real inspiration in the cider community. His business model is based on community participation. The farm has been the home of the Johnson family for over 70 years. The 65 acres have been put to many uses during this time including a dairy herd, crops of potatoes and soft fruit, sheep and more recently alpacas.
In 1974 the first of the commercial orchards contracted to Bulmers, the Hereford cider makers, was planted. This enterprise has grown in recent years and today is the main farming activity occupying 40 acres.
Throughout this time a traditional farmhouse orchard of cider apple and perry pear trees has been maintained with a small amount of cider and perry made each year for consumption on the farm. Since 1984 when the farmhouse was reopened after renovation the popularity of the cider and perry with both local customers and visitors alike has resulted each year in increasing quantities being pressed. All Broome Farm Cider and Perry is made from whole fruit juice – once pressed the juice is allowed to ferment with its own natural yeasts.
Further orchards have also been planted to supply fruit for the growing production of Broome Farm Cider and Perry. There are now over 70 varieties of cider apples and perry pears growing on the farm enabling the creation of individual blends of award winning cider and perry.
The farm cellar is open every day for tastings and sales straight from the barrels and there is also a selection of bottled cider and perry available, both single varieties and blends.
The volunteers picked and pressed apples and enjoyed a great lunch at the Yew Tree.