Cider season runs until the apples run out! We got a nice delivery for this first week of November from one of our farm partners, Ed Baushke of Heritage Orchards in Benton Harbor, MI. Heritage is a fourth-generation farm that grows apples, peaches, vine-ripened vegetables, and sweet corn.
In the bins were Golden Russet, one of our favorite cider-making apples; Swiss Gourmet, a cross of Golden Delicious and Ida Reds; and Suncrisp, a cross of Cortlands, Golden Delicious, and Cox's Orange Pippin.
Once the truck arrives, our cidermakers (David Crawford pictured in the above gallery in the forklift) unload each crate and place them in our loading dock so we can do a preliminary count, do some initial tasting, and label each crate so we can then restack them and move them near our press. Each create will then be loaded in and turned slowly, sending the just-picked apples into the bath for a quick rinse and then up the hopper to the crusher to create pomace. The pomace is then filled into the accordian-style press, which will squeeze the pomace to extract fresh juice.
Our head cidermaker Seth Boeve and Ed also chatted through other apple varieties that will be available for the 2018 harvest, as well as grafting and the future needs/wants for our ciders. "We chatted about having Ed try his luck with some Arkansas Black, Rhode Island Greening, Cox's Orange Pippin, and Black Twig, as well as a few harder to grow varietals: Harrison, Tremlett’s Bitter, and Dabinett. If he’s willing to give it a shot, we’ll help him out in any way possible."
You can learn more about our cidermaking process and see the apple crates themselves, by booking one of our tours. And if you'd like to swing by for some of our proper farmhouse cider, we are open all season long, seven days a week, from noon-7pm.