Cider making is in the family

TRADITIONAL products and modern marketing are proving a fruitful combination for North Devon cider maker Peter Hartnoll. Peter first started producing cider at Ostlers Cider Mill in Goodleigh 17 years ago and over the years has added cider vinegar and ch

TRADITIONAL products and modern marketing are proving a fruitful combination for North Devon cider maker Peter Hartnoll.

Peter first started producing cider at Ostlers Cider Mill in Goodleigh 17 years ago and over the years has added cider vinegar and chutneys to the output from the 1,200 apple trees he planted on what was previously unused and bramble-strewn land.

Interest has grown steadily and the onset of a website has given an extra boost, with products now being dispatched nationwide, he told the Gazette.

So busy has Peter become that he has now been joined in the venture by his daughter Becky and a third generation of young cider makers in her children, Mia and Taz.


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Peter, now in his 70th year, has been severely disabled since being involved in a car crash at the age of 18. But he has never let it hold him back and is an example of what can be done with determination. "The business has become so busy with sales both on the internet and in local shops that it would be difficult for a fit person and, being disabled, it is now just too much for me on my own," he said.

With the arrival of the new family members Ostlers was now planning to plant another orchard, this time to grow pears for the making of perry, he said. One small area had already been planted with pears and Bramley apples for chutney making.

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With her children now attending Goodleigh School, Becky is planning to use woodland for schoolchildren to attend a "forest school" and to help with a children's gardening club at school. She is a keen conservationist and a specialist in creating wildlife ponds.

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