In a good year a small orchard can produce fourteen million apples. We have about 25 fruit trees (I say about because a couple are questionable after being mutilated by deer) and this year was a good year for fruit.
One of the greatest things about an orchard is making fresh cider. We make cider in the fall with a cider press. The cider press is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My handy engineer husband built the press several years ago after spending some quality time researching designs. For many weeks we received strange packages in the mail. I called my husband at work to ask him if he ordered a drive belt for a volvo. He assured me he had and that he needed it for the cider press. Eventually after much banging and welding he wheeled a cider press out of the garage.
We pick the apples, smash the apples and press the apples to make a beautiful nectar called fresh cider. The best cider (IMHO) is made from a blend of apples and pears. We have several old pear trees (not sure of the variety) and four different types of asian pears that we mix with the apples. Some of our apples are ‘variety unknown’ but we do have gala, fuji, red and golden delicious. They all blend to make fabulous cider. This year we pressed all fourteen million apples.