Sebastopol Community Apple Press
The Apple Core of 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 to October. Use of the press is a community service. There is no charge to use the press, but we ask users to volunteer and to give donations to help support our work.
• 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 Core
• Slow Food Russian River in the Press
The 2023 Apple Season
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 containers with lids. Reused plastic is preferred over glass, to avoid breakage.
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. The press is for use by visitors and residents to make juice for their personal enjoyment and is not intended for those making juice for commercial purposes.
One appointment of 20 min. is sufficient for pressing up to 100 pounds 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 locally grown 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.