Do you have apples on your property that you would like to offer for cider making? We are always looking for new apples to purchase, so get in touch.
If your apples are small, sour, bitter and not good for eating, they might still be suitable for cider making. We can come out and take a look or you can bring by a sample.
Each year is different, but I normally harvest apples for cidermaking throughout the month of October. I have a very limited capacity so I focus on late season apples that tend to be best for cider. In the future I may try doing an early season harvest and press, but I am not able to use early apples at this time.
Generally, I am looking for late season apples that remain on the trees into October and beyond. I am very interested in wild apple trees that have grown from seed. These are often found near the edge of a forest, or along a fence line or road. However, any apple tree may be of interest and I can do some testing on the fruit when I come to check for the right qualities.
Currently I'm offering $2 per sack of apples, or a bottle of cider. I use standard livestock feed sized sacks which hold 30lbs to 40lbs of apples depending on the size of the apples. I'll do all the testing, harvesting and transporting; you provided the trees!
Yes! Small apples or apples affected by scab are fine for cidermaking. However, apples that have started to rot from falling on the ground or from insect damage are not suitable.
Yes! I will do a few tests on the apples and as long as everything else checks out, sour/bitter/astringent apples are fine. In fact, these are sometimes the best apples that will result in a rich flavour when turned into cider and aged.
Depending on the size of the tree and its location, I use a couple of different methods. Most often, I will spread a tarp under the tree and shake the apples out of the tree using a long pole with a hook. If the apples are close to the ground, I will pick them by hand. With your permission, I will sometimes clear brush or long grass from under the tree before harvesting to make the job easier.
Generally, I just need to know where the apple tree is and I can take it from there. If there is a civic address, that is best since I can find you using GPS. Usually, that is enough, but if the apples are not visible from the road, a rough description of where to find the trees would help. If you know the type of apple - either a named variety or wild - that may be useful. Also a rough estimate of the number of tree and the amount of apples on them will help me know how long to set aside for checking your trees.
Firstly, thank you for getting in touch and I'm sorry I didn't make it to visit your trees this year! I do my best to visit every tree each year, but the harvest season is extremely hectic and sometimes I can't fit them all in. You are still on my list though and I will try to make it to your trees next year.
I try to get as many apples off the trees as I can. However, there are always apples left after harvesting for many reasons. Some trees release their apples with a light shake, but others hold on tightly. I do not want to damage the trees by shaking the branches too vigorously. Sometimes the branches on a tall tree will be out of reach and can't be harvested. Other times there just isn't enough time to get any more apples down with so many other tree still to visit. And, especially with the wild trees, I feel it is important to leave some fruit behind for the wildlife to enjoy!