West Country Stories

Straw Man
The Last Press Of The Season...

Straw Man - The last Press Of The Season

I'd photographed Dr Hugh Tripp pressing apples through straw to make cider in a deeply traditional way around five years ago. Watching how he did this, on a smallholding that had barely changed since Victorian times, was inspiring and I was determined to film him. However, our calendars never seemed to match up; that is until a dark and damp December day last year when I finally managed to link up with him, joining him for the last pressing of the season. I filmed him picking up the final few useable apples lying alongside already decaying fruit; apples that had already given up, and were slowly returning to the earth.

Dr Tripp uses straw to press cider not just for historical reasons or to be deliberately 'traditional' but because it's practical, as the straw aids the composting of the apple pomace (the skin, seeds and pulp of the fruit which remains after pressing), helping it to return quickly return to the earth.

This is a short film about making cider in a way rarely seen today. It’s also about the changing seasons, and understanding and working with the rhythms of nature to produce the very best the land can offer.

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