Stop the presses…..

….., we have an apple press.  The picture below is a store model of one that we found on Kijiji for one quarter of the price although we did have a round-trip drive of  +550 km.  I had a Kijiji alert set up for over eight months and this was the first and only apple press that popped up. The owner was selling it because it had become too expensive to spray his orchard.  Although he wasn’t a commercial grower, he still needed a licence to use the spray.  We joined him and his wife for a lemonade and talked a bit.  I think he was pleased that his press was going to have a new life.  I think that I got a deal, a rare deal in more ways than one.

We have apples – six of them which is 6 times what we had last year until something ate it.

Gemini Apple

So we won’t be pressing apples from our orchard this year.  But we will be pressing apples in about 2-3 weeks time from a local pick-your-own orchard.  We stopped by to see if they had any of last year’s apples left but they are a small orchard and don’t have storage.  We started chatting and one thing led to another as usual and Jennifer, the co-owner, said that she had just made some apple cider vinegar and would we like to taste it.  It had a wonderful mellow, fruity, acidy tart taste like no vinegar I had ever tasted.  It was vinegar but without the strong bite that I was used to.  I knew in a flash that we had made a wonderful purchase.

More pictures.

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6 Responses to Stop the presses…..

  1. Jeremy says:

    I used to have a lovely little Vigo press, with separate crusher, and the juice it produced was so delicious. One thing we did was to store rectangular cartons, like, er, juice cartons, cut the tops off and freeze juice in them. Then slip the frozen block out of the carton, so it can be re-used, and stack the bricks in the freezer. saves space and preserves well. I never did get round to pasteurising for fresh juice.

    • MikeH says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      You’re right. It is a lovely little press. Great idea for storing juice for later consumption although it could lead to a bigger freezer (we intentionally have a very small one in order to prevent “what-the-hell-is-this-i-dunno-how-long-has-it-been-there-i-dunno” dances.) Pasteurizing has its place, I think. Mass produced food with many hands involved in many locations needs all the help it can get to keep it safe even if it means nutritional loss. On a small scale for personal consumption, I think the risks are minimal if you know what precautions to take and you take them.

      Regards,
      Mike

  2. Eden says:

    In the 80s, my dad built a cider press that looks almost exactly like that one, without the hopper! I guess he must have seen a picture of one like this. We’ve inherited it, but it didn’t come with the bag – do you know where I could get one?

    I’m also wondering about the expensive spray comment. We never used spray in our home orchard growing up. Some years there were worms, some there weren’t…

    • MikeH says:

      Hi Eden,

      The manufacturer/seller of our press also sells bags.

      Apples are perhaps the most prone to pests and diseases of all fruits and vegetables. That’s not surprising when you consider that there’s no easy way to breed for resistance. The germination rate is about 30%. The length of time from seed to fruit is so long that one might only select 10 times in the average lifetime. Because apple trees grown from seed will be about 30 feet high, you need a lot of space. And finally, the chances of getting an edible apple are about 5 %. And that’s complicated by the fact that each seed that each apple produces is unique. All we use is a lime/sulphur spray when the trees are dormant in the spring. It’s organic although that will probably expand a bit as we have more apples being produced in the orchard.

      Regards,
      Mike

  3. With seven, very productive, mature apple trees in our new place, this is something I very much need! I have got to look in kijiji!

    • MikeH says:

      Hi Telsing,

      http://www.vimeo.com/14609511

      If I’d seen this video first, I think that this is what I would have done although I’m not crazy about the dependency inherent in the garburator. What I’d like to find is a manual meat grinder with a much larger feed hopper than ours has and I’d like to modify the handle such that it requires less cranking. The grinder we have right now leaves you with a sore arm at the end of a bushel. I do like the car jack set up though and will probably use the idea to extract honey this spring assuming the bees make it through the winter.

      Regards,
      Mike

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