It's hard not to feel excited driving down a narrow country lane on a sunny autumnal day knowing your destination is a farm run by people who passionately drove ahead with their dreams despite naysayers.
Trenchmore Farm in Cowfold have been making Silly Moo cider for a few years. It's unpasteurised, raw cider making it beautifully crisp and clear and the apples for it come from either on the farm or from their annual apple swap where people who grow apples for whatever reason in Sussex donate apples to the production of the cider.
Joanne's dog greeted me first by hopping into my car with a wagging tail. Joanne followed shortly after and was so generous with the story of the farm and their farming values.
We arrived at the orchard and the sight was lines of 19 different varieties of apples snaking up over a small hill. These apples, along with apples from Sussex Gardens (which are donated by locals in the annual apple swap) make up Silly Moo cider - an unfiltered, farmhouse cider which is pressed and fermented on Trenchmore Farm.
Every year the cider tastes a little bit different which reflect the way the apples have naturally grown, which varieties have been more fruitful (literally) or the different apples the swappers have bought.
Next year I'd love to go and be part of the swap, it warms my heart that traditional practices like this are thriving in the countryside with the raised popularity of locally grown produce. Perhaps there's something near you you can get involved in that does something similar - let's keep the countryside buzzing!
Formally Emma Gutteridge