Farm Life

Farm Life

Sunday, October 12, 2014

An Afternoon at the Cider Mill

     We are in harvest mode right now. We are busy preserving all the fruits of our labor in any way that we can. We know that winter will soon be upon us, and before we settle in we need to be prepared.  An autumn on our farm is not complete until we have some fresh pressed cider in the freezer. So, a few days ago, I took on the task of collecting our cider apples with my boys, and their friend. We have been blessed with a variety of old crooked apple trees that have been here on the farm for over one hundred years. Their ancient branches hang low with the weight of heirloom apples. All combined, they make a fantastic cider!
My son, at the top of an old heirloom apple tree.

Yep, hard hats come in handy for this task!

The boys always love to pick apples, but I believe they enjoy eating them more.....


      With the kid's help it makes for quick, fun work. We gather as much as we can for our upcoming appointment....

The more of a variety, the better the cider.

We collected approximately fourteen bushel.

      This afternoon, after church, we loaded our sweet, and sour mix of apples into our van, and headed for the cider mill. 

Happy to be helping mom carry apples.

My five year old, watching the mill do it's work.

      The apples are loaded into the hopper, then travel by conveyor up to the top of the mill. Here they are ground, and emptied onto sheets of burlap. The burlap is then folded over the ground apples. A large plastic plate is then placed atop the burlap pillow of apples. Slowly the many levels of crushed apples are squeezed into a sweet drippy cider.

Cider drips from the mill.

Now into our jugs.

The apple cider then travels through a hose, and into our waiting jugs. 

            Our reward today was thirty gallons of sweet autumn goodness! Our harvest will be stored in the freezer, and pulled out in the depths of winter for a fresh taste of fall. It will warm your soul on a bitter cold evening, fixed hot with spices, and I look forward to sipping sweetness by the fireside in the midst of January's icy grasp.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to have 100 yr old trees. To think of how many have eaten from them and everything that has happened in that time. And here they still stand producing fruit.