~Making Apple Cider~

The beautiful pasture above is not too far from our farm and the owners were generous enough to allow us to harvest  apples.  There are at least nine trees with apples on them this year.  The problem was and still is that the cattle also want the apples, and I am afraid of the bull.  He is still a young bull, very large and somewhere in the back of my mind lingers the memory of accidents that I have read about throughout the years of people who have been attacked by bulls.  But, the thought of apple cider, apple crisp, canned apple pie filling, sauce and apple jelly are enough to make us work for these apples.  Besides, the electric-barbed wire fence isn’t too terribly low to crawl under, very quickly if need be.  I know, because I practiced it over and over to make sure I could do it:)  Yesterday, we threw apples to the cattle to keep them happy, and happy they were.

These photos are from last week some time and since then we have been back for two more “apple runs”.  I am guessing that we still have another trip  left to the pasture, having left the crisp pie apple varieties there.

At first we were hand cutting the apples and putting them through our small meat grinder but that took forever.  So after a bit of brainstorming and a good meal, Fred came up with an idea which worked out great.  He washed out our feed grinder very well and dumped the apples in it to be chopped.  The five gallon pails of apples that were dropped into the grinder were crushed intantly and I bet our red neck method could go down in the record book as the fastest apple grinding system in the state:)  It worked so quickly; we were all  amazed.  The grinder was hooked up to the tractor, PTO driven.  Because we were all working I did not get a photo of that particular procedure.   

We have been busy since I first started entering this post on cider making last week. The other day we  pressed another batch of cider which I think yielded another 15 gallons of cider.  This time of year everything seems to be ready to harvest all at once.  Things can get a bit over whelming.  The weather has taken a turn for cold and there is a sense of urgency in all of our harvesting tasks.  Below, I am going to throw in some random photos of things accomplished as well these past few weeks, besides the cider making, that I did not find time to post.   Very soon I will post photos of our hops harvest that also was completed recently!




 The most important accomplishment………….Kallie Jo Ryland was baptised last Sunday by Father Craig Timmerman at St. Leo Catholic Church.   God bless Kallie Jo and her parents, Peter and Francesca!  Thanks to all of you that helped us celebrate that day.

About Callens Honey Farm

We live on a small family farm located in S.W. Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. The source of our honey is from white and red clover. The honey appears as liquid gold in color. Our honey is extracted using a hand cranked centrifugal force extractor. Then the honey is screened once into a holding container from which we later fill the small honey bottles. We do not heat treat the honey nor add any other ingredients. Pure and natural is our Minnesota honey! What could taste better?
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5 Responses to ~Making Apple Cider~

  1. Mary says:

    Beautiful post, but I liked the last pic best! 🙂 I was getting ready to email Grandma Callens to see if any more pictures were forthcoming after that first amazing one… 😉

    Busy with harvest and getting cold here to!


  2. Sandra — we wish we could be there. The harvest looks great. Our apples aren’t so plentiful this year, but we got so many last year there is still sauce and butter. Kiss Frenchy and the baby for us — take care of all our children —

  3. Angela says:

    You’re not too shabby of a writer there auntie. PS – you look too young to be a grandma?!

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