It was a beautiful, sunny October morning, crisp as the apples we were pressing into delicious cider during Skookum’s Co-op week celebratory Community “Press-Off”, outside the Community Resource Centre, as part of the weekly Saturday Winter Market. The concept was that both members and non-members could drop by, wash and press their apples into incredibly delicious cider, and pay by donation. Many people brought their own bottles and jars, but we had some sterlized bottles on hand if needed. The Skookum Cider Press is normally only available to members, and for a daily fee for use.
Skookum board members and other volunteers helped to make this event a fun time, and it even raised some $70 toward the Cider Press fund. But most importantly, we helped community members produce a great, locally processed food, from local produce. Of course, the event also showed off our cider press and increased our visibility in the community. Six quarts of juice also returned to the CRC, from apples picked through Skookum Gleaners!
It’s hard to say how many apples we collectively pressed, but I figure that at least 40 quarts of juice and a whole lot of pomace resulted from the 3-hour pressing. We plan to turn most of our own apple juice to apple cider vinegar, but some people were planning on freezing their bottled juice (making sure they were 25% empty and with a loosened lid), and others planned on adding champagne yeast to make hard cider. Apple juice will keep about a week in the refrigerator, but those who attended enjoyed immediately sipping the free samples as they watched cider being pressed on this gorgeous day.
We even got some help with the cider press clean-up from some energetic nearby youth engaged in a car wash fundraising event for the new Youth Resource Centre; it is set to open in a month or so, right next door to the CRC.
A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped out in various ways!