Gather round, kiddos, and let your crazy old auntie tell you stories about what people did down on the farm when they didn’t have these newfangled modern conveniences like “wifi” and “television” and “an actual life.” We participated in fun old-timey group activities like apple pressing, yes we did. And we have the photos to prove it.
First, start with apples.
Grassward Dairy had about a dozen mature apple trees on the property; I felt especially silly because we went grocery shopping prior to our stay there and I bought apples. Like spent actual money! And there were thousands of delicious apples, free for the taking.
This press is pretty old-fashioned…except that it’s partially electric, so shredding the fruit is quicker and easier.
One of many important foods pollinated entirely by bees.
For best results, use a mix of different apples so your cider is a balance of tart and sweet. And you don’t have to worry about bruised spots or any other damage, as the press takes no prisoners. Throw them all in.
An action shot of an apple hitting the toothed shredding wheel.
The shredded pulp before pressing.
Gravity forces the pulp into a mesh bag for pressing and straining.
Readying the pulp for pressing.
Placing the weighted lid on the bag.
The electricity only helps with the shredding wheel; the press is still cranked by hand.
Leftover pulp is fed to the pigs. It’s like pre-marinating.
And the result of all this hard work? The most incredible apple cider you’ve ever tasted.
We pressed hundreds of pounds of apples; most of the juice was left for drinking fresh, but a few gallons will be turned into hard cider. Sadly, it won’t be ready for weeks, so we won’t be able to taste the fruits of our labors. (P.S. You can do this at home using a juicer…but it’s much more authentic if you’re fighting off aggressive wasps outside on a farm.)