Borough Market to hold ‘Apple Amnesty’ for unique community cider

London’s iconic Borough Market is celebrating the best of British harvest time this October half term (Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th October). In line with the Market’s commitment to sustainability and reducing food waste, Londoners are invited to take part in an ‘Apple Amnesty’ and bring in fruit from their gardens, allotments and school yards, as well as any sitting in fridges and fruit bowls that might otherwise go to waste, for a Borough Market led community cider and apple juice initiative.

Borough Market will be celebrating the UK’s rich harvest heritage over the three days from 11am – 4pm in the glass fronted Market Hall.  Displays will highlight the enormous number of different varieties of apple, squash and other harvest produce available as well as showing visitors the joy of ‘growing your own’ and providing plenty of Autumnal family friendly entertainment. As part of Borough Market’s drive to reduce food waste, there will also be live daily cookery demos showing how to cook up delicious dishes from the season’s haul of fruit and vegetables, including top tips on what to do with surplus.

During the Harvest Celebrations, visitors will be able to watch apples being turned into juice and hear how this will then be made into cider from Borough Market trader, The Cider House. The cider and juice will be available to buy from the Market in April 2020, with profits going towards supporting Borough Market’s community projects. Anyone who brings a pound of apples in for the community pot will receive a ‘£ for a pound’ tokenentitling them to money off when the cider and juice are on sale early next year. 

There will be a wide range of activities throughout the celebration for the whole family, including demo kitchens from 1-2.30pm each day with Borough Market regular chefs: Angela Clutton (Thursday), Kate Young (Friday) and Luke Mackay with Beca Lyne Pirkis (Saturday). For children on half term break there will be a story orchard and demonstrations from fruit and vegetable trader Turnips on pumpkin carving – just in time for Halloween. On Friday (25th) Borough Market’s ‘Young Marketeers’ (children from local schools), will be selling their school-grown Harvest produce for food waste charity FareShareBorough Market’s traders will of course be selling fresh, seasonal and sustainable Autumnal produce.

The celebrations will be kicked off by a short act of harvest worship at Borough Market on Thursday 24th, led by neighbouring Southwark Cathedral.

Darren Henaghan, Managing Director, Borough Market said, “Borough Market is a place where you can really feel the change of seasons, and the arrival on the stalls of the autumn harvest is such an exciting time of year. Our Harvest Celebration will give the community the chance to gather together to mark this moment, as they have done throughout the centuries. We’re looking forward to welcoming families to our story orchard and seeing what the Young Marketeers have managed to produce in their school gardens. Our community cider and apple juice initiative will really capture the twin elements of fresh, local produce and public participation—we can’t wait to make something seasonal and sustainable with a little help from all of our friends.”

Mary Louise Topp from The Cider House London gives her ‘Topp’ tips on storing apples and making juice/cider: 

Storing Apples 

For cider, we don’t like our apples polished! There will be an element of natural yeast on the skins of the apples and by rubbing them to polished perfection you will be taking all those airborne, natural yeasts with it, and they are vital for kickstarting our ferment. All that’s needed is a quick dunk in clean water and a gentle dry with a soft cloth.

Ultimately you want to be keeping the apples dry and with a good airflow, so do not store in plastic bags. After you have got all the apples nice and dry, store in an open cardboard box or wooden crate. Keep an eye on them for a couple of days, apples that have split or are badly bruised are likely to start to rot and that will spread through the whole harvest.

Making juice and cider: 

One of our secrets to getting a great tasting juice is to leave the mashed pulp a few hours or overnight and then press the following day. This allows all the pectin to break down in the apples resulting a fruitier, juicier pulp ready for juicing. 

Cider can take as little as thirteen weeks to fully ferment, however, we like to wait a little longer. We follow the old rule ’never drink the cider until you hear the first Cuckoo calling’ We like to be patient and allow the juice to fully finish its ferment and rest. We won’t touch a drop until we hear her sing in mid- April.

Borough Market’s three day Harvest Celebrations will run from 11am – 4pm in the Market Hall from Thursday 24th October until Saturday 26th October. For more information on the apple sellers and where to buy the cider at Borough Market visit