Home page and where to get Shonin Risa's books: https://sites.google.com/view/risabear

It may be that lifestyle overshoot will prevent my dream of an egalitarian agrarian society from arising from the empire's ashes. But
I hold that behaving as if a better life could happen is still the right thing to do. Therefore this blog focuses on a decent and humane
way to live. Survival links post here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Done by eleven

The grapes are not maturing, and apples are dropping, so I have determined to go ahead with the juicing. We are low on canning supplies this year, so it was determined, after scrounging around a bit, that we could make 39 quarts and 10 half pints of juice. Another, sweeter, cidering to be held around October 1st, will have to go into a carboy and go straight to cider.

For color, we gathered two quarts of blackberries. To add complexity to the flavor, we picked all the varieties of apples currently ripe. These are Egremont Russets.

Here are some Transparents, from a tree I planted three years ago at Daughter's.


A couple of buckets of Honeycrisp. I know they don't look it, but only the late ones redden up for us, and only after dropping from the tree. We grab them while we can.


Also some Cortlands were gathered. The ones on the tree were a bit underaged yet, but there were plenty of lightly bruised drops.


I begin the juicing at eight in the morning. The leaf shredder is horrible at leaves but pretty good at fruit, so that's all it's used for here.


I cover a bin with a sheet, run the pomace into the sheet, unclog the shredder from time to time, and shovel the pomace away from the chute to keep a clear path. By this time of day the yellowjackets are extremely interested in what I'm making, so I move slowly and deliberately. We each have our jobs to do, so there's a truce.


I lift the pomace with the come-along, allow the juice to drain away, then wheelbarrow the pomace to the chickens. Repeat. This goes on all morning and into the afternoon.


Meanwhile, the dipping, straining into jars, and canning commences. Seven batches. Done by eleven at night.


:::

In August, but this year in July, Gravensteins: 
golden fleshed, generous, kind to cook, ciderer 
and ring-dryer. She tries everything,

but mostly buttering: a large crockpotful
of peeled rings, quartered, lightly cloved, 
cinnamoned and nutmegged will make

six pints and one short jelly jar. After
that, the old Egremont Russet, Cortland, 
Honeycrisp and Jonagold come all together;

what can she do but slice them all in quarters, 
toss them into her dedicated shredder,
pour pomace into a burlap bag

and hang that, with her father's pulley and 
an old hemp rope, to a maple branch? 
Juice will run for hours, collecting

in a tub beneath; at evening she dips gold, 
pouring through filter and funnel into quarts -- 
forty-five glass jars or more, most years.

Last, she'll think of cider (but not too much), 
making in a cool jug by adding wine yeast.
In seven days or less she'll sing to her trees.

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