Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cider Pressing

A short photo essay.

Spreading the tarps.  It is critical to keep track of the side that stays down to avoid contaminating apples with deer feces.  The best tarps are bi-color.  Brown-goes-down is easy to remember.

Send some skinny, young guys up into the tree to shake the limbs.  They have to check the bottoms of their shoes before they walk across the tarps to ensure that they do not track deer poop onto the tarps.  Deer LOVE apples.
We shook 6 trees.  One Priscilla, two Golden Delicious, two Jonafree and one Northern Spy.  It is desirable to have a mix of sweet, tart and aromatic apples. 
Starting to roll the apples to the center of the tarp

The edges of the tarps were rolled up to puddle the apples in the center.  They were then scooped up and put into boxes and clean bags.
Somebody's Ford diesel has an electrical glitch.  It gave me GREAT pleasure to give it a jump start with the CHEVY Cavalier.
Happy Crew
I wish this was the end of today's post

And now you know....

Therese (far right) and Max (third from left) took the apples to the cider mill for pressing.

They arrived shortly before the Noon cut-off and waited at the end of a long line.  They waited for nearly four hours before they could unload.

The press master refused to press the apples after the first bag was unloaded.  He claimed litigation exposure as the reason.  He said that there were too many leaves in the apples and that was evidence that we raked them off the ground.  He is not held to the standard of proof.  He is held to the standard of what, might have, maybe happened.

Therese showed him photos on her cell phone and was able to get him to finish one "pressing".  He did so very grudgingly.  One pressing used up 4 bags of apples, or about one-seventh of the total we picked.  Those four bags yielded 28 gallons of cider.

Therese and Max took the remaining apples back to the orchard and dumped them.  They were using borrowed equipment and had to return it this evening.

So a conservative estimate is that we lost 180 gallons of cider with a retail value of $4/gallon.  That is $720 to the math impaired.

---Warning: Editorializing about to occur---

There is no value in being bitter or angry.  The press master has to stay in business in a political climate that is extremely anti-business....unless you are a mega contributor to the party that won.  We want him to be in business next year and the year after.

But it is beyond sad when a fabulous, family get-together ends this way.  $720 of wholesome food ends up being left for the deer and raccoons.

And there-in lies that fault of central planning:  Unanticipated consequences.  Reality is infinitely messy and independent actors will almost always act in ways that minimizes their exposure and maximizes their profits.  That rarely aligns with the planner's model of what "should" happen.

---End Warning---


Sidebar on food contamination:

Excerpted from FOX article:
  • "The owners of a Colorado cantaloupe farm were arrested Thursday..." 
  • "...the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined the Jensens didn't adequately clean the cantaloupe."
  • "The Jensens' farm in southeastern Colorado filed for bankruptcy..."
  • "... the case against the Jensens ... do not require intent, just the fact that they shipped contaminated food..." 
  • "Asked why it took so long to file charges, Dorschner said officials needed time to develop the case."
  • "The illnesses quickly were linked to the Jensens' farm, with the FDA saying on Oct. 19, 2011, that the outbreak probably was caused by pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean packing equipment..."

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