Pressing Fresh Apple Cider (10 Favorites of Fall)

Sometimes I think of a list of my favorite things. The list quickly grows long so I’ve decided it’s time to divide it up into seasons and force myself to keep them short–to make them extra special. We’re nearing autumn now so I’ll begin with its list (which is probably my favorite list out of the four). So here’s what says ‘autumn’ to me and puts a smile on my face.

(1) Little bits of chaff blowing on the warm wind. (2) The loud whhrrrrr whhrrrrr whhrrrrr of grain dryers. (3) Watching corn shoot from the combine into the big red grain truck. (4) Watching from the kitchen window the lights of the harvest crew as they finish picking the last rows of corn in the middle of the night. If you don’t know what these things are like, I suggest you come to Nebraska at harvest time some year. More than all these farm related memories my favorite is (5) playing in the dry corn kernels filling the box of a grain truck with my sisters when we were little. We didn’t  play in the corn much–but it was such fun when we did that it’s probably my favorite memory our our family farming.

(6) Putting a scarecrow together with my mom and sisters. We haven’t done this for years now, but I’ve been thinking about it the last few weeks and have decided this would be a good year to put one up again. He wears faded overalls, a slightly ripped, red plaid shirt that’s faded as well, gardening gloves, and a painted face. His usual place to sit is upright on a hay-bail in our front yard, but we don’t have hay-bails anymore so if he comes out again this year we’ll have to find him a new place to scare the crows.

Of course, (7) the crunch of leaves. We all love this, don’t we?

The long-awaited chance to (8) wear thick sweaters, Smart Woool socks, red scarves, and corduroy pants (hopefully not altogether because that would look a little funny).

The completely legitimate excuse to (9) drink hot chocolate most days, “It’s cold outside!”

(10) Making apple cider with family and friends. What more autumn-like party could one have? This past weekend my sister and I joined our friends in making fresh, homemade apple cider using apples straight from their own apple orchard. It is still summer, but the weather so far this Nebraska August has been simply delightful and the day felt quite like fall. The group working right outside the garage diligently ground and pressed the apples as a few of the rest of us picked away at the orchard trees and the little children ran around among the trees and swung on the long rope swing in the yard. At noon we all took a break to have a picnic meal together and enjoy some fresh cider. We finished the pressing early afternoon and split up the jugs of cider before heading home.

Here’s a video I took on Saturday of the apple pressing process:

Apple Cider Making Equipment Used:

  • Fruit Picking Pole
  • Wells & Wade Fruit Picking Bucket
  • Maximizer Apple Grinder
  • Maximizer Fruit Press
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One response to “Pressing Fresh Apple Cider (10 Favorites of Fall)

  1. Apple pressing for cider is great fun. We do the same thing every year, gathering friends and family to pick, chop, press and drink. Sadly, our apple trees were hit by frost this year and there looks very few apples on the tree. Good job we have some cider left from last year.

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