we went to farm school last Saturday, early evening. it was cold and windy. we came with buckets and a ladder and a borrowed apple picker, there to glean apples for cider and some for snacking and such as well. (dried apples, chutney, rosemary-apple jam... we aren't huge on applesauce, really)
we left with four five gallon buckets, a bushel basket, a quarter bushel basket, and two plastic grocery bags full of the delicious red orbs.
as we left, the turkeys were flying up to roost atop one of the hoop houses. they are such curious and interesting birds, these turkeys.
(especially the three-headed ones)
back at home, a day or two later, it was cider time. Mike had fashioned a cider press essentially by building a frame and bolting a car jack to it. there was a milk crate that we filled with a couple layers of boards and then strainer bags filled with pre-chopped apples, more boards, and so on. a multi-layer chopped apple sandwich, if you will. that sat on top of an upside-down rubbermaid bin lid with a hole drilled into it for the cider to flow through.
two/thirds of our team in action~
to be sure, there was much tasting. very much.
and the pressed pulp was a hearty and sweet treat for the chickens.
five gallons of cider was heated lightly and mixed with yeast in the fermenting bucket, and is now on it's way (fingers crossed) to being delicious hard cider. there was another three gallons bottled for the fridge. thinking we'll pop some of that into the freezer.
as one would hope for it to be while one is doing something such as making homemade apple cider, it was a glorious fall day. I looked up, and this:
I looked down, and this:
without a doubt, one of the sweetest of days.