MORAY APPLE GROWERS are being urged to give up any surplus fruit they currently have in their gardens – in exchange for Scottish cider or apple juice.
An unusual appeal has been launched by Thistly Cross Cider, who aim to reduce waste by gathering apples from orchards or private gardens throughout the country that would otherwise go to waste.
A collection point at Gordon Castle has been set up for those local growers who might have buckets of apples available to donate in a “bucket for a bottle” exchange system.
Peter Stuart is the head cider maker at Thistly Cross, who are based in East Lothian. He said: “Apple donations are already making their way to the farm and, as a proudly Scottish brand, Thistly is inviting the public to donate their spare fruit and, in return, we’ll give them cider or apple juice.
“One of the things that make Thistly Cross Cider so unique is its blend of Scottish heritage apples, hand-pressed on our farm in East Lothian.
“We have a tradition of using apples grown across Scotland from a wide range of sources including professional apple growers, schools, large estate owners and the general public who grow apples in their gardens at home.
“We even use apples donated from the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
“Our popularity is increasing but Thistly cannot make all the cider it wants to without the help of the public – so every year we accept fruit donations from all over Scotland, ranging from a bucketful to a truckload.
“Our unique system of using donated apples also eliminates the waste that is all too often associated with the food industry of modern times.”
Apples donated should be in good condition with each bucket full handed in at Gordon Castle being exchanged for a bottle of Thistly Cross cider or apple juice.