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Making Apple Cider



I grew up in semi-rural northwest Ohio, where there’s quite a few apple trees, and family cider presses are not rare.  Anyway, we had one  – a two-basket press (smaller than but similar to the one in this video) –



I will say – that the old press in this video is exceptionally nice.  It’s well designed and well restored. (and it works great)

And, as you can see, when you make cider with a press of this sort  – it’s best done with lots of help. It’s (naturally) a clan function, or a community function.  (and this, in itself, is worth something. You know – Cooperation.  Teamwork. Everybody pitches in, and everybody enjoys the cider.


About five years ago, I was able to obtain an old cider press (at a yard sale in southwest Washington)  It’s pretty similar to the one that our family had, when I was a kid. The mill has patent dates cast into the front end plate.  (It’s about 140 years old.)

I had to do quite a bit of rebuilding on it, and replaced many of the wooden parts.  Anyway, it works. I’ve already used it three times this year, and I’ll probably use it three more.


We’ll use it tomorrow evening for the Halloween party (the Suttle Lodge staff party … where I work)

Then, on November 2nd, we’ll use it again.  Just a cider-making party (and potluck dinner) with friends.


But – here’s the thing.


I’ve been on a keto diet now for four months (which means: no sugar or carbs, which means no fruit or fruit juice)    So, currently, I’m not drinking cider.  But (I notice that) my enthusiasm for making it is pretty much undiminished.


Why is that?


Well, it’s because – the main reason I like to do it … is so that people (participating, preferably) can have the experience of seeing the cider come gushing out of the trough, when the pressing screw comes down.  (There are a few shots of this in the above video, though I must say – that it’s better “in person”)


You see –  apple trees grow on a planet the way apples grow on an apple tree.  And people grow on a planet in quite the same way.  Mmm?


We are CHILDREN of this World … of the Great Mother.  Mmm?

We belong here.  And our Mother loves us.


Well – anyone who sees the cider gush from the press (and then drinks some) has just had a first-hand experience of the Love and Generosity of the Great Mother.


EXPERIENCE is primary.


(And, while I expect to some time drink cider again …) the drinking of it is NOT really the Main WHY that I make it.


(Don’t get me wrong.  I love apple cider … especially when it comes right out of the press.  It’s just that right now … I’m not drinking it.           But that’s just a detail.)


Gandhi has counseled us – to be the change we wish to see in the world.


Want to be a child of the Great Mother?  … to be a Member of the Great Family?


One of the ways to do that – is to MAKE APPLE CIDER.


Get a cider press.

Find your Tribe.





.    (Real West Country British cider)    (A Countryman’s cydermaking 1970’s)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


 The Family Is All There Is


Think of those old, enduring connections

found in all flesh–the channeling

wires and threads, vacuoles, granules,

plasma and pods, purple veins, ascending

boles and coral sapwood (sugar-

and light-filled), those common ligaments,

filaments, fibers and canals.

Seminal to all kin also is the open

mouth–in heart urchin and octopus belly,

in catfish, moonfish, forest lily,

and rugosa rose, in thirsty magpie,

wailing cat cub, barker, yodeler,

yawning coati.

And there is a pervasive clasping

common to the clan–the hard nails

of lichen and ivy sucker

on the church wall, the bean tendril

and the taproot, the bolted coupling

of crane flies, the hold of the shearwater

on its morning squid, guanine

to cytosine, adenine to thymine,

fingers around fingers, the grip

of the voice on presence, the grasp

of the self on place.

Remember the same hair on pygmy

dormouse and yellow-necked caterpillar,

covering red baboon, thistle seed

and willow herb? Remember the similar

snorts of warthog, walrus, male moose

and sumo wrestler? Remember the familiar

whinny and shimmer found in river birches,

bay mares and bullfrog tadpoles,

in children playing at shoulder tag

on a summer lawn?

The family–weavers, reachers, winders

and connivers, pumpers, runners, air

and bubble riders, rock-sitters, wave-gliders,

wire-wobblers, soothers, flagellators–all

brothers, sisters, all there is.

Name something else.    



                                            –     Pattiann Rogers

3 thoughts on “Making Apple Cider

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