Friday, October 19, 2007

Each Autumn our family becomes consumed in a large apple related project - for years it was making applesauce but when our favorite source for apples raised their prices beyond our means we thought our autumn apple days were over. But then my daughter received this book for her birthday.

Apple cider vinegar! My husband noticed that a lot of apples from our CSA went to compost. For one reason and another a large quantity of apples were not suitable for distribution - so my husband, always looking for an opportunity, asked if he could have a crate of them. Between The Little House Cookbook and our other favorite The Encyclopedia of Country Living we gleaned enough information to start our first batch - which was a great success!

Now this year we have the "mother" from last year to aid the mega batch we've started.....

We have the food grade barrels and lots of apples....

And eager hands for trimming and chopping.....

Hmm seems like a rather large chipmunk in the background joined in for this particular task!

We managed to nearly fill one of those huge barrels (we did split the batch into two barrels to aid aeration - not to mention the need to maneuver these things).

Hubby estimates a yield of about 40 gall0ns of vinegar. Now you might be asking yourself - "what on earth are they going to do with 40 gallons of apple cider vinegar?" Most of it will actually be bottled and sold at the CSA - for our efforts we will keep a couple of gallons for ourselves. But we hope that our vinegar operation will benefit the garden by supplementing the gardeners' continuing education fund.

This project will also become the basis of our next science block - acids, bases, and fermentation!

Everything must be saved, nothing wasted of all the summer's bounty. Even the apples cores were saved for making vinegar.....Farmer Boy

Our leftover scraps were either composted or happily fed to some chickens and pigs we know!


Us! said...

This is excellent Donna!!! What a great thing to do with apples that are a little off. We have 'produced' apple cider vinegar in the past by leaving our cider unrefrigerated.... But this is wonderful!!

Donna Marie NJ said...

Wow! This is wonderful! You sure are enterprising! I would love to do this kind of thing and more. I really want to be more like you when I grow up ;o)