The first (and most work-intensive) step is to gather up the apples. Kim puts them in old clean chicken feed sacks and loads them into the Gator...
Here Kassie and Kelsey are filling the buckets with apples...
...which Karter is pouring into the hopper of the cider press for Kaden to work down into the chopper.
This cider press is well over 100 years old. In its early life, it was hand-cranked but now it's been rigged up with an electric motor.
The apples get chopped up,...
...the pulverized apples fall down into a slatted bucket,...
...and then the cider is pressed out of the apples through the slats.
The last step of the process is straining the cider, to get out any apple debris.
Kelsey and Kassie are experienced squeezers.
This was our apple crew one rainy afternoon a few weeks ago. Our friend James from church joined the family crew that day.
Every week we have a different crew, whoever happens to be available when Papaw gets the cider-makin' notion.
This past week it was Krew and Juni who helped us.
Every week the cider gets sweeter and more delicious!
They both tried their hands at cranking the press down a few turns, but Papaw had to finish it up.
If there is a living creature to be found, Juni is all about it...even this tiny worm...
The pressed apple bits get dumped on the garden for natural fertilizer.
Papaw and his two adorable helpers brought the coolers of cider up to the cabin for putting in jugs.
So far we've made about 60 gallons of cider...with lots more to come. One of the reasons I love autumn...
...it's cider season.