County AG Report - Apple Cider

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

It’s apple cider season once again, in this week’s county ag report, Brian Bouchard takes us to the MSAD 1 Educational Farm to see how it’s made.

“We’re making apple cider!” - Josiah Kierstead – Junior, Presque Isle Tech Center

Students of the Presque Isle Tech Center’s Farm Mechanics class paid a visit to the MSAD 1 Educational Farm this week, to learn how apple cider is made, and how the machinery operates.

“It’s going to be good for our students to see how much this is similar to regular potato farming, because they have a hopper and a conveyor, and the differences are the press, and the mash, so they’ll get to see that side of it as well.” - Darrell Espling – Farm Mechanics Instructor, Presque Isle Tech Center

The Student’s learn the process of making apple cider, which starts with sorting out any rotten apples or apples that aren’t whole.

“Then it falls into a washer where the apple gets washed and sprayed with water and the rollers are actually brushes so it tumbles them around and cleans them up, and then it goes into the grinder, where it makes applesauce with a whole apple.” - John Hoffses – Farm Manager, MSAD 1 Educational Farm

“It’s a lot easier than you’d think, this whole process making cider, I mean we’re just a small little school farm making it so that’s kind of cool” - Cameron Wilcox – Junior, Presque Isle Tech Center

“From there it gets pumped over to the press, and we make several blankets and fill them up, make a stack and press it out.” says Hoffses

Hoffses says he hopes the student’s all got something out of their time making apple cider.

“We picked out rotten apples and squirted it onto that stuff (the press), I don’t know, we’re going to have to learn” says Kierstead.

“I learned that you have to put the apples through a lot of processes in order to make the apple cider. You have to pay attention and make sure that you don’t get your fingers stuck in the belts or in the middle of the conveyor.” - Noah Sirois – Senior, Presque Isle Tech Center

“It’s a lot of fun, it’s very cold, but it’s more or less fun. I’ve only done it for a couple of hours but it’s a lot of fun” says Wilcox.

Hoffses says that after being pressed, the cider is treated with UV light prior to being bottled and sent to local stores and schools.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8