Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful for the Bounty

The fall apple press event put on by The Dawn Institute is easily our favorite event of the year in Plumas County. And that is saying a lot. For a county with such a small population, Plumas has a lot of outstanding events. 
The apple press is a harvest festival, a celebration of bounty. I love that about it. The most obvious manifestation of bounty is the apples themselves. People arrive in cars and pick-ups loaded down with boxes and bags of all different colors, sizes, and varieties of apples. Some from their own trees or orchard, some off a neglected roadside tree or an elderly neighbor's, etc. If you don't have another source you can pick apples from the trees on site. Apples, apples, apples! They are beautiful. The fall afternoon lighting that usually graces this event is a sight to behold.

That's a regular sized dinner fork resting on
those tiny bite-sized beauties.
The copious compost that results from
the pressing is another form of bounty!
Another expression of the bounty that characterizes this event is an incredible potluck feast! The homemade dishes, obviously created with care, fill the tables to overflowing. The food is colorful, healthful, seasonal, homemade, homegrown, creative, and delicious.

Folks gather at a rural location consisting of a small, one room community center at the edge of an old apple orchard. We gather to pick and press apples. We gather to enjoy the food. We gather to listen to the live music performed by local musicians. We gather to enjoy the sun and the outdoors. But we gather, first and foremost, simply to be together. The many children run and play with zeal and joy in the orchard. There is much laughter and conversation. We gather together to celebrate another year gone by and our amazing good fortune.

Quality control.
Young and old spend an afternoon together at the apple press.
Note the lighting!
Oh, and last but not least, there is juice. A bounty of juice. You have to work a bit to get it but that just makes it taste all the sweeter: ) We froze some for winter enjoyment and I set 2 and a half gallons to fermenting in 3 separate batches to try my hand at hard cider. I'll let you know if the results are worth sharing the method in a future post.

Enjoy your bounty!


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