Friday, October 12, 2007

Cider Pressing.

Today we visited the farm where we get our organic wheat. They also have 120 trees of organically grown apples. Some varieties are great for eating/baking. And there are some special antique apple varieties which are particularly good for cider. Hard cider. We have really enjoyed chatting with this couple, and were excited to go today. And cider apples was our mission.

We first dropped off my husband so that they could get all the equipment set up and rolling. No, we didn't just drive over and pick up the finished cider. We met the farmer and pressed it together!

I went and visited a park with the boys for awhile, and then went back to join them after the first hour. A was very excited. The pressing machine is very loud (yes, they have the hand crank variety, but we were pressing over 80 pounds of apples!), so the guys all had on ear protection -- there was even a kid sized set for A. I didn't have any ear protection, hence many of my dark from a distance photos.

At a certain point in the process A was able to hold containers under the nozzle and collect. He was given a special cup to taste test the freshly pressed apple cider as it flowed out--mmmmm.

After all 80 pounds were done, we finished up, chatted a bit, and loaded the car with our cider, plus some frozen cider for a neighbor. A got to sit in some special John Deere machinery, which made his day, before we left. We picked up another 5 pounds of wheat for bread making too.

It was such a beautiful day to be outside - cold and cloudy, dry leaves underfoot, wind blowing through the trees. Standing outside in the chill chatting about fresh wheat bread recipes and kids. Very fall, very fun.

Our neighbor plans to use his cider to make hard cider the modern way - using yeast and sugars. We plan to try our first batch of naturally fermented hard cider - which should be ready in about 6 months. We'll see how it goes!

Oh, and where was G? He fell asleep after playing in the park and slept through the entire event, in the car, 20 feet from the loud cider press. Amazing.

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