On Sunday, September 13, 2015, Slow Food Russian River did some apple pressing with the Sonoma Land Trust.
We brought apple cider pressing, apple cider, and local cheese to a Sonoma Land Trust event. It was celebration of the restoration of the stone barn at Glen Oaks Ranch, on Hwy 12, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor.
We had invited three food artisans to the event. First Ellen Cavalli. She’s the co-founder, with her husband, of Tilted Shed Cider. She spoke about her adventures with making cider as well as the emerging and exciting cider industry in Sonoma County,
Also apple grower Ted Richardson of Bella Ridge, who has been growing apples in Sonoma County for decades, and cheesemaker Anna Hancock of Pug’s Leap Cheese in Petaluma.
As the photos in the album below attest, everyone took great pleasure under the oaks at the Trust’s Glen Oaks Ranch in Glen Ellen. It was a day about apples, cider and cheese.
“I grow 50 varieties of apples. I don’t want the ‘spitters’” said Ted Richardson about his aorchards in Occidental.
Ellen Cavalli from Tilted Shed Cider told us “We love the ‘spitters’; that’s what we plant; that’s what makes great cider.”
What are ‘spitters’ you ask? Apples that you spit out when you taste them because they are so bitter or hard or tart or ugly to the palate. (Most volunteer apple trees produce ‘spitters’.)
We tasted Ellen’s cider which is actually nectar of the gods – it’s so good.
We tasted 4 varieties of Ted’s apples. All were so delicious that I couldn’t choose a favorite.
Anna from Pugs Leap Cheese at White Whale Farm brought us cheese to taste with the apples and cider. Perfect!
I would highly recommend creating a cider, apples and cheese day under the oaks in your own back yard. I felt like a great queen living in a luxurious pleasure garden two or three centuries ago.
A beautiful day all around!
You can find Ted’s apples at Occidental, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Farmers Markets. You can find Tilted Shed Cider and Pugs Leap Cheese in local markets like Oliver’s and Andy’s.
Paula Downing is a member of the Slow Food Russian River Leadership Team and the Manager of the Sebastopol Certified Farmers’ Market.
Photocredits: Corby Hines, Sonoma Land Trust
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