It’s Apple Season!

Prime apple picking time in Oregon is in September and October.


The apple trees in this photograph from the collection of the Benton County Historical Society look to be loaded down with ripe apples.

Cora Mae Fehler and Friends by a Large Apple Tree, circa 1910

Fruit-laden apples trees are not rare: over 1500 farms in Oregon have apples trees.  The 2021 harvest totaled 154 million pounds of apples. What to do with all those apples? One option is to make cider.

You must quarter the apples and then mush them to a pulp using a wood masher or a grinder. Then you pour the mash into a press.

“OASIS SPECIAL”, “NO. 0” cider press

The press would be lined with cheese cloth or other material. After the mash has been added, place the wooden disk on top.  Turn the handle to put pressure on the disk and the apple mash, squeezing out the juice. The juice runs into the circular trough just outside the diameter of the press and out the hole in the front into a waiting container.

This Oasis Special press was owned by Gregory Reiling and used at the “Prune Ranch,” a 200 acre farm near Monroe leased from the Wilhelm family near Monroe. 

If you would like to see a cider press in action, the Willamette Valley Grange #52 is hosting a cider day at the Willamette Community Grange Hall at Highway 99 and Greenberry Road on Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 10 to 2.

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