Ciderland

by James Crowden

ISBN-10: 1841586277
ISBN-13: 9781841586274
Region: British
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Publication Date: September, 2008
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Publishers Information

About Ciderland

Publisher Web Link: http://www.birlinn.co.uk/

The West Country is justly famous for its wide variety of delicious ciders. Over the last thirty years there has been a quiet revolution in the area with a steady growth in cider producers, from small, local companies to well-established outfits pumping out millions of gallons a year. In this book, James Crowden charts the development of cider making in the West Country, from the sixteenth century monks to the diverse industry of today.

Crowden takes us on a tour around the beautiful and fragrant West Country orchards, outlining the differing manufacturing methods, and investigates the differences between a farm-house cider and an industrially manufactured one. He shows how the best cider makers translate their passion into the process and treat each different batch of cider like winemakers would a vintage. He also takes a look at the rise of perry making and profiles the companies dedicated to getting the best out of the West Country pears.

Ciderland includes comprehensive summaries and descriptions of almost every cider and cider producer in the West Country and covers topics such as cider folk traditions and remedies, placing cider making firmly within the local culture.

Author Information

About James Crowden

Author Web Link: http://www.james-crowden.co.uk/index.php?&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27

James Crowden is an author and poet living in Somerset. Born in Plymouth in 1954, he was raised on the western edge of Dartmoor. In 1972 he joined the army and served in Cyprus travelling widely in Eastern Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and north west India. In 1976-77 he spent a winter on the northern side of the Himalaya, in the remote Zangskar Valley in Ladakh. It was from this experience that he developed a lifelong interest in agriculture and Buddhism. James has a degree in Civil Engineering from Bristol University and later studied ethnology at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum. At the age of 21 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


For the last 20 years James has worked in North Dorset and South Somerset as a shepherd, sheep shearer, cider maker and forester. The choice of manual work was deliberate and gave him a deeper understanding of the landscape.


James has now retired from working on the land and is writing full time. Over the last few years he has worked on many different projects, in particular with Common Ground. In 1999 he was made their Apple Day Poet Laureate and subsequently wrote a libretto for a major new environmental opera called The Silver Messenger which was performed in Christchurch Priory in July 2001. This was part of Common Ground’s three year Confluence Project with the composer Karen Wimhurst on the River Stour in Dorset. Recently James has worked on several recording projects for Year of the Artist and Somerset Now, as well as working on Foot & Mouth poetry with Devon photographer Chris Chapman.


James’s poetry has often been featured on BBC Radio 4 and television, as well as Literature Festivals at Dartington, Wells, Ludlow and Oxford. He enjoys working in schools and gives a wide range of poetry workshops, talks and lectures. Published in 2004 ‘Waterways’ is Jame’s latest book commissioned by the National Trust on rivers and canals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is part of the National Trust ‘Living Landscape Series’.

Cookbooks by James Crowden

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