While the weather is still cool, and before the garden demands so much of my time, I hope to build a cider press in the same basic design as shown above. It’s a very clever setup that makes use of a hydralic jack and some very strong timbers to squeeze the juice out of apples without too much effort. I also hope to build a apple grinder where I will premash the apples before squishing them in the press. If your interested in creating your own press, the original plans are available on the Van Vliet website, simply click the image above to load the page.
The cider press project will dove-tail very nicely with another of my spring plans. I’ve made another significant committment to the farm in the form of fruit trees, 125 of them to be sure. My order form included the request for 75 assorted apple seedlings, 25 red elderberry plants, and 25 wild plum trees. The seedlings should arrive in the beginning days of April, and they will be much smaller then all of the fruit trees I’ve planted thus far.
The form states the plants with range from 6 – 12 inches tall, and I’m planning to create a fenced in temporary nursery where the trees will be protected while they are vertically challenged.
I’m not so worried that wild animals will do damage to the trees, but I’ve already seen some medeling goats munch on a few of my trees. My niece has several goats as pets, and sometimes these marauders escape their shelters and roam freely. They are very short animals, and at less then three feet tall, they seem to favor the shortest and the most vulnerable of the trees. One of the trees to the left of this photo is missing the entire top of it’s stem, and I’m guessing we can all imagine why.
So there they are, my three projects for this spring, with the end goal being Apple Sauce, Apple Cider, and maybe something sippable with a bit more kick to it. It’s all part of my plan to live healthy, wisely and close to the land as our forefathers have for generations.