A healthy crowd showed up at Mable’s Gardens Farm in Tlell this Thanksgiving for the first-ever Tlell Apple Fest.
People of all ages mashed, bashed, pressed, and stressed locally grown apples into streams of sweet nectar and piles of pulpy pig food under a crystal clear autumn sky.
After an extremely productive apple year, Veronika Higlister, host of the Tlell Apple Fest, decided a good old fashioned apple pressing was in order and borrowed a homemade press from fellow Tlellian, Leandre Vigneault.
Beautifully built, the press was made by Vigneault’s grandfather.
Originally from Germany, Higlister recounted the many times she and her own grandfather pressed apples and how special those memories are.
It was plain to see that similar memories were created in Tlell, as smiles split the faces of adults and children alike at Apple Fest.
The press made quick work of local McIntosh and other varieties of apple plus a few pears. With a top-mounted hopper designed to break the apples into more manageable sizes and a 20-litre vat for pressing, the juice flowed all day long with everyone commenting on how fun it was to use.
For those lucky enough to get there early, there were apple pancakes as well as a cauldron of hot apple juice with lemon cloves and cinnamon.
Later on Jesse Embree from Night Owl U-Brew dropped by to offer some tips on turning the juice into cider. In total, 50 litres of juice were made.
Depending on the apple crop in the years to come, Higlister hopes to make Tlell Apple Fest an annual event.