Washing the Apples and Grinding Them
Grounds in the Press
Racheting the Press, It's Old School Mechanics
One thing for sure is that the old-timers and settlers to Petrolia recognized the place for ideal apple growing climate. In addition to newer fruit orchards on the newcomer's places, there are a lot of old, old orchards around here. There's even a locally developed variety, called the Pink Pearl. It was "discovered" by Mr. Etter (of Ettersburg), the Luther Burbank (renowned plant breeder) of the north.
Being that this is fall, there are a plethora of apples to harvest, everything from juicing globes, to sweet, crisp fresh eating fruit. Some of my favorite varieties are Fuji, Yellow Delicious, Macintosh, and Gravenstein. I do like the Granny Smith's, too, for baking and juice.
Last weekend, we pressed juice at our previous residence, on the banks of the Mattole River near the old Hideaway. Several of us gathered to collectively harvest, grind, and press apple grounds into the luscious, amber elixer. It was an overcast morning, threatening rain, but we pressed around 30 gallons of the good stuff to take home and make into goodies. Drew and I used ours to make hard cider, which is happily bubbling away in its primary fermentation jug as I write. We also took home several gallons of apple grounds to make applesauce with, which we canned that evening. I'm looking forward to sharing our home brew with you in several more weeks, or longer, for a nicer finish.