We host two Cider Days each year. One for friends, family, and neighbors, and one for families of 2nd graders at Harvest Elementary School.
We didn’t have as many people come to our friends and family day this year.
We had over 250 people visiting from the elementary school! We are so grateful that the teachers were here to help. We couldn’t have done it without them.
We picked a lot of apples before everyone got here. We spent quite a few hours gathering apples from neighbors, friends, and anyone that had apples they weren’t going to use. The families of 2nd graders also brought a few apples. A big thank you to everyone who brought more apples! The more kinds of apples we have, the better the cider is!
The apples get soaked for a few minutes in a food safe sanitizing solution. They are soaked in warm water because we get more cider from warm apples than we do from cold apples.
Whoever wants to help at the grinder grabs an apple or two, after it’s soaked, and heads to the grinder.
Grinding the Apples
I think this was one of the favorite places to visit! It’s fun to see the apples get munched by the grinder.
Almost everyone was very good about dropping the apple into the grinder from up high.
That grinder can grind fingers just as well as it can grind apples! We didn’t want that to happen to anyone!
Turning the grinder wheel is harder than it looks. Its all made out of heavy metal. It’s a bit hard to get the grinder started, but it does a great job grinding apples because it is so heavy.
Even the teachers had fun grinding the apples!
Pressing the Cider
This year we had two cider presses. One grinder grind enough apples to keep both presses working.
We use a Whizbang cider press. You can build your own by getting the plans here.
Everyone who wanted a turn got to work the jack. How many times did you get to pump the handle when you were here?
All that pressure squeezes the juice right out of the apples. The more different kinds of apples we have, the better tasting the cider is.
The cider comes out this tube into a jug or bottle. This is a new valve. I like it so much better than the old valve we had. It is so much easier to open and close to let the cider out.
Another new thing this year is the dowel holder on the side of the cider press. We used to loose the little dowel that hold up the presser. It needs to be out of the way when we are loading apples, and when we are unloading the mulch.
Tasting and Other Activities
This photo doesn’t show many people getting to taste the cider.
I should have taken a photo of the trash can. It was full to the brim with empty cups! I think everyone had at least one taste of cider. We had so much cider that many people got two cups to taste!
The children also had the chance to play on the playground. It’s not very big, but it is a lot of fun.
Matt planted the tree in the sandbox about 20 years ago. It seems like a treehouse near the top now. It’s a lot of fun.
The slide goes really fast, too! The kids love it!
Everyone got to go visit the animals, too. Our friend Sophie was in the barn showing people the chicks and the baby turkeys.
Did you get to see my little goats? They will be mama goats next spring. I love them! They are so friendly!
It seemed like everyone that came had a fun time. It was fun to make and taste cider. And it was fun to play, and see the animals on our little farm. Some grown ups even had fun seeing the greenhouse!
Thanks for coming! Please tell your teachers thank you for coming, too! They did a wonderful job helping everyone.