Chris Slade describes the son et lumiere presentation at the abbey of Bon Repos called "Le Pays de Conomor" in Brittany, which takes place during the first two weeks of August.
We have had to bring forward our apple pressing this year, as the seasons are all wildly ahead of themselves We had a gloriously warm April, May, and June, a pretty mixed July and August, and September feels almost autumnal.
As a result, the apples are also ahead of themselves. They are ripe and falling from the trees.
This has got me into a bit of a panic. We don’t normally pick our apples for storing for another three weeks, and as for the jus de pommes (apple juice), the harvest isn’t until the last week in October.
I guess the seasons won’t wait for my schedules, so I’ll have to reorganize my life around my apple pressing, picking, etc, as I really do not want to see them go to waste and rot.
I have just phoned the farmer who owns the apple press to see if he can squeeze us in on Saturday afternoon. His response came as a bit of a shock:
“Attendez… Oui, c’est possible mais, c’est juste, la lune descend dimanche”.
He went on: “Normally, we don’t press apples so close to the moon descending, I’ll call you back”. He did call back later and even agreed to come to the rescue despite the supposedly inappropriate time to do it.
However, his initial reaction left me rather puzzled, as you can imagine! The only way round this was to spend some time doing my research, as I didn’t want to sound too ignorant in front of my farmer friend. I found out that the ideal time to pick apples is during an ascending moon and on fruit days, as the apples will have stocked up on vitamins and sugar by that point. It is best to avoid picking fruit during a lunar node (a lunar node is when the two points at which the orbit of the Moon intersects the ecliptic) or when the Moon is at its perigee (that is when the Moon’s orbit is closest to Earth). Stormy conditions are also best avoided as damage to the fruit will happen much quicker. It feels like I could become an expert in the field of apple pressing, apple picking or anything apple related!