Sebastopol Community Apple Press
Slow Food Russian River operates the Sebastopol Community Apple Press at the Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol during apple season – from August through October. Use of the press is a free community service.
• Directions to the Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm, 7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol CA 95472
• Contact Us
• Map of Sonoma County Apple Growers, U-Picks, Apple Artisans, and Cider Makers
• Volunteer with the Apple Press
• Slow Food Russian River in the Press
There is more information when you view this page on a computer
The 2018 Apple Season
The press will first open to the public on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, from 9am until 3pm. [NB. On the morning of the Saturday, Aug. 4 the Press will be used for volunteer training and will be closed to the public.] On the following weekend we will run the press at the Gravenstein Apple Fair at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol, CA, and hand out juice to fairgoers. Tickets are now available.
At the Farm a Slow Food volunteer familiar with operation of the press will be on site. All you need to bring is your apples (be it from your own trees or bought from one of our local growers) and plastic containers. (No glass please, to avoid breakage.) We have a supply of half-gallon containers we make available at our cost of $1.00 apiece.
So we can serve all who want to use the press, please limit your quantity of apples to not more than 100 pounds per visit. A five-gallon bucket holds about 20 pounds of apples, and produces about one gallon of juice. So if you have about 100 pounds, bring containers for about 5 gallons of juice.
One appointment of 20 min. is sufficient for pressing up to 100 lbs of apples. If you need to rinse your apples please come 15 minutes before the time of your appointment.
Children of all ages can participate in pressing apples, but parents are solely responsible for supervising their children. We recommend that young children not use knives for cutting apples.
Health and Safety
We will provide facilities where you can rinse your apples, but the apples you bring should be intact with no breaks in the skin or rot. The containers in which you collect your juice should be clean. Hand washing facilities will be available.
The juice you make will not be pasteurized, so it will have a limited shelf life. We recommend you use plastic containers so you can freeze some of your juice and thaw and enjoy it at a later date.
Both conventional and organic apples may be processed in the same press. Conventional apples may have pesticide residues.
While we have helped patrons press many tons of apples at the Community Apple Press since it opened in 2014 without a single health incident, “raw” apple juice can harbor bacteria, even if the apples used to make it never fell on the ground. The Centers for Disease Control recommends boiling “raw” apple juice for 30 seconds prior to consumption to reduce the pathogen load to a safe level, particularly for vulnerable populations such as children, elderly individuals, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. Another FDA-approved method for safeguarding apple juice is treatment with UV light, which unlike pasteurization does not unduly affect the flavor. You can view the video of the food safety-training program entitled Safer Processing of Juice developed by the California Department of Public Health.
See You at the Sebastopol Community Apple Press
So don’t let any apples go to waste from your (or your neighbor’s) backyard trees this year. Collect and bring them to the Farm and make your own juice.
And if you don’t have access to backyard apples, visit one of the local apple growers (for our list click here), or buy apples at a farmers market or any of the enlightened grocery stores in the county.
Consider an outing to the countryside with friends or family, perhaps to an apple grower who offers U-pick, then make your own special blend of juice with the varieties of your choice.
One appointment of 20 min. is sufficient for you to press up to 100 lbs of apples. If you need to rinse your apples please come 15 minutes early. Asian Pears need to be quartered. Bring a friend, or two, to make your work lighter!
To reserve a slot, click on a date, then select an open (darker-colored) time slot. If you encounter problems with your registration please read these more detailed instructions.
If you need to cancel there will be a link to do that in your confirmation email. Please use it so other apple juice lovers can take that spot.