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A Feast For Eyes And Stomachs To Celebrate 200th Anniversary Of Bramley Apple

Anthony Gibson, NFU SW Regional Director opens a four-day celebration of local food and an exhibition of quilts at Newhouse Organic Farm, near Launceston at 2pm on Friday 14 October 2005.

A colourful combination of hand crafted quilts and local food marks the 200th anniversary of the Bramley apple at an 'Apple Extravaganza' on an organic farm near Launceston. Cowslip Workshops, run by farmer's wife and needlework expert Jo Colwill is based at Newhouse Farm, St Stephens, and she has organised the event with the support of Organic South West who promote organic food and farming in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. A local food and drink marquee over the weekend features apple juice, Cornish cheese and ice cream, a Cornish organic barbecue and traditional farmhouse teas. An added attraction will be working apple presses and visitors bringing their own plastic containers will be able to take away freshly crushed juice.

Anthony Gibson, NFU SW Regional Director formally opens the exhibition of nearly 100 quilts made by Moorland Quilters, Quay Quilters and Cowslip students, on Friday 14 October at 2pm and he is joined by Celia Steven from Buckland Monachorum, great grand-daughter of Henry Merryweather who introduced the Bramley apple variety to Great Britain. The Extravaganza is open on Friday 14 from 2-6pm and Saturday, Sunday and Monday (15-17 October) from 10am-4pm daily.

Organiser Jo Colwill says "Apple trees and orchards are part of our Westcountry heritage and landscape and that has inspired our quilt designs illustrating their beauty and usefulness. There has been a genuine revival of interest in local varieties of apple and we hope that visitors will learn something by coming to the Extravaganza and sampling some tasty treats from local food producers. There's also a chance to win a quilt and a hamper from Percy's Restaurant in our charity raffle" continued Jo, "So there's plenty to attract everyone."

Anthony Gibson, NFU SW Regional Director says, "There is no more evocative symbol of the English countryside than the apple, and nowhere more than in the South West. Both the range and the quality of the fruit grown in our orchards are unmatched across the world. The French may boast of their 235 different types of cheese, but the English can lay claim to more than 700 varieties of apples! So I am delighted that this event is being staged to celebrate the history, heritage and culture of our apples and orchards, and to explore the importance and potential of apples in modern cookery and the food industry. English apples undoubtedly have a great past. The challenge now is to give them an even greater future."

Continuing the theme, visitors are encouraged to bring along apples for Tamar valley fruit collectors, Caroline Vuillamy, Naomi Martin and James Evans to identify and there will also be a display of different apple trees from Endsleigh Garden Centre, Milton Abbot.

Traci Lewis, Organic South West manager is looking forward to the event. "Cornish producers are growing from strength to strength as people take more of an interest and pride in their traditional heritage. Jo and Stephen Colwill manage a superb organic farm and we are delighted to support them and other local producers who take such a pride in the quality of their food at this memorable event."

Located just five miles from the centre of Launceston, the Extravaganza also includes demonstrations of willow work and pottery and a fascinating display of antique gardening tools from 'Down to Earth'. Entrance to the Apple Extravaganza is free, with a £2.00 entrance fee to the Quilt Marquee (children under 16 free). Children are also welcome; there will be fun educational workshops for them on the Friday and Saturday, with apple bobbing and other activities to keep them entertained.

For more information call Cowslip Workshops on 01566 772654 or visit:

For further information please contact Emma Parkin of PR and Media on 01392 490009 or email:

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Organic South West through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria Ford, at Government Office South West - 01752 635015 - before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Editor's notes:

The first Bramley apple is said to have been grown from a pip planted by a young girl. Henry Merryweather, who ran a nursery in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, recognised the quality of the resulting fruit and developed the original stock. Over the last 200 years it has become the most important culinary apple in this country. Many food and drink producers in the Westcountry use the apple today for their products. Celia Steven was responsible for getting the Bramley listed under EU regulations as a culinary variety thus ensuring its future.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
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