Absolute Michigan photographer Sarah Louisignau took part in an apple cider pressing party last weekend and since few things in Michigan say “fall” like a big glass of fresh & delicious Michigan cider, that was enough for us to run a feature on apple cider! Just click the photos below for a larger view.
According to the Michigan Cider Guild…
In America cider is more than 300 year old. It was brought to America by its early settlers and grew from those days to the popular drink it is today. In some respects it has changed little aside from its early days as a sweet substitute for water, cleansing agent preservative (vinegar) and of course for its fermentation qualities. Also see Cider on Wikipedia.
Why should I drink Cider?
For starters, it’s really really good. This article suggests that scientists Brewing Research International have confirmed high levels of health enhancing antioxidants in cider, on par with red wine. A half pint of cider delivers the same amount of antioxidants as a glass of red wine.
What’s with the Chickens?
A “guild” in permaculture landscape design is a strategically selected assembly of plant or animal species that boost the productivity of a central plant or animal element. If the central element is a apple tree for example, guild “members” would be selected that can improve the trees yield or reduce the work needed to manage it. In this case, the chickens are members of that guild and are used to control insect pests and also to help process the apple waste.
How do I get my Cider?
If you’re interested in getting in on the cider game on the ground floor, check out How to Build a Cider Press from the Mother Earth News – it’s a great feature that takes you step-by-step through the process of building a cider press for less than $50. There’s a really simple recipe for cider on the appropriately named howtomakecider.com.
If you’d rather let someone else do the hard work, check out “Cider” on on Absolute Michigan, the listing of cider mills from the Michigan Farm Marketing & Agri-tourism web site, and “cider” at Real Time Farms (mostly Michigan links and photos). You’ll also enjoy the feature on cider mills on Pure Michigan. They note that there are 37,000 acres of apples on 950 farms. Over 20 million bushels of apples are harvested every year, and apples are Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop with an economic impact of $700 million every year! Learn more at michiganapples.com and the Michigan Cider Guild.
What can you tell me about Hard Cider?
John Adams claimed that his health and longevity was attributed to drinking a tankard of hard cider each morning before breakfast. While we’re not going to go that far, we will say that Michigan cideries are doing a fantastic job of producing tasty hard ciders. The blog Serious Eats lists 3 Michigan cideries that you should know about. We’ll add a few more, two organic Michigan cideries, JK’s Scrumpy Organic Farmhouse Cider and Good Neighbor Organic Cider and one that’s just a few feet away from the world headquarters of Absolute Michigan, Left Foot Charley.
Something to add? Post it in the comments!