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I’ve had a love affair with the apple tree in my yard since we moved! On my dream list when searching for a home was a fruit tree, so imagine my excitement when I found our current home with a raggedy old apple tree! Ha.

This year was our second harvest, and I spent a lot of time researching apple tree care earlier in the year. We put in some effort to trim the Magnolia Tree next to it, giving the apple tree more light as well as clearing out grass around the base of the tree and watering it well early in the season.

I also was fairly brutal with thinning out apples throughout the spring and summer. I wanted big apples, so I really pulled a lot of smaller apples growing close together in order to give space to the best ones.

We had a great harvest from our little old tree and I can imagine it will continue to improve over the years. We have plans to make dehydrated apple chips, apple pie filling, apple sauce and… apple cider! Both the plain juice and the fermented varieties.

We received this cute apple juice press for Christmas last year, and we finally got to use it! Our first step was cleaning the apples, chopping and tossing them in the food processor to mash them up. Then we put the mash into the press and started turning!

This was actually really fun to do with kids – and we are people who tend to get overwhelmed when our kids start getting their hands in things. But, luckily, the process was simple and easy for them to take part in. Also, they were very happy with the results of fresh pressed juice coming from, essentially, a fountain in the kitchen.

I used these bottles to fill with the cider we will keep in the freezer. We will be doing one more batch of juicing for our fermenting process, using swing top bottles.