Last Saturday we pressed 3,065 pounds of apples!

By August 23, 2016News
Last Saturday we volunteers pressed 3065 pounds of apples!

Last Saturday we pressed 3,065 pounds of apples!

When I parked in our little lot at the Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm, at 12:30pm,  to volunteer, I could hear the sound of the apple press chugging away in the distance.

The air was scented with apples.

When I approached our site behind the nursery I saw at least 15 people busy busy putting apples in the hopper, pouring their juice into their containers, washing apples, moving pomace to their bags, carrying in their bags and boxes of apples.  What a gorgeous scene.

The air is scented with apples.  People are tasting each other’s juice, commenting on the color and size of their apples.  Everyone is smiling.

We pressed 3,065 pounds of apples that day. Thanks, Russ Franco, for keeping count and for leading Saturday’s team of volunteers to help our guests press their apples.

Sometimes I find it hard to get going.

I had groaned a bit that morning about going to “work” at the press.  It was foggy, I wanted to go back to bed and read… You know.  When I got there all that changed.  There are so many new faces this year.  Today we are fully booked every 10 minutes from 9:00am to 3:00pm.  Everybody is thankful.

Cider making kits for sale now.

Mike and Francis arranged for us to have and sell at a small profit fully outfitted “kits” with everything you need to make 5 gallons of your own hard cider.  We sold the first one yesterday!

Cider Making Kit at the Sebastopol Community Apple Press of Slow Food Russian River

(click for larger image)

Cider Making Kit at the Sebastopol Community Apple Press of Slow Food Russian River

(click for larger image)

The kit is being sold for $60 (a retail of $80 or more) and it comes with everything inside to make the cider, including instructions for making awesome dry Gravenstein cider. 

The kit includes: the carboy, Campden powder (a sulfite), yeast mix, airlock and stopper, a thermometer tape on the side.

Come and volunteer with us!

So, if you haven’t had the OPPORTUNITY to join in this joyful endeavor, go to the volunteer page on our web site and sign up. You will be missing a real Slow Food experience if you miss it.

Slow Food USA wrote us. We’re on the map.

We got a wonderful email from Richard McCarthy, the executive director at Slow Food USA after I sent him photos from the Fair and the CAP about how we are building community with apple juice…..he was right!

Richard wrote: “Paula, This is AMAZING! Do you have any photos we can share? On FB? CCing our communications director, Anna. She’ll be keen to consider how to tell this story.You are growing community via food. Take home juice. I can all but taste it!!!” And we have some photos to share.

Things come together, always.

It seems to me that one volunteer slot we didn’t actually schedule is clean up at the end of the day.  Boy was I tired at 3:30pm.  Then, some wonderful guys who had used the press came back and helped clean up.  And the farmer who was picking up the pomace to feed his sheep and goats and pigs came and stayed to help too.

SO, if on any Saturday or Sunday you have an hour to spare, come by the CAP and help the volunteers wash down the press and clean everything up. The press is at the Luther Burbank Goldridge Experiment Farm, in the back of Burbank Heights & Orchard Senior Housing, 7777 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

Paula Shatkin has been a Slow Food leader for over 15 years.  She started the Sebastopol Gravenstein Apple Presidium – the only Slow Food Presidium in California and the most active Presidium project in the U.S.

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