Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Day's Work

 Today was one of those days when I feel blessed to enjoy country living with my family.

At my parent's dairy farm, a cow went down and the decision was made to make hamburger.

Ed and my brothers did the butchering this morning.

Nothing beats good fresh ground beef.

My brothers had picked up apple drops yesterday so in the afternoon we made cider.

First we washed the apples and took out any rotten spots.

Then the apples are chopped and dropped into a slatted container.

When full, a board is placed on top and pressed down with a screw.

Out flows fresh cider.

We strain the cider through a sieve and cloth.

Then fill jars and plastic containers.

The children were ecstatically happy to spend a day at the farm.

And came home, filthy dirty and in need of a Saturday night bath.

All total, we squeezed about 20 bushel of apples to make over 40 gallon of cider. We divided it up between the families. I don't have a lot of freezer space, so I am trying to can some cider this year. I know it will alter the flavor to more like apple juice. I'm typing this while waiting for the canner to finish so that I can go to bed.

Driving home with our van full of fresh beef, newly squeezed cider, and raw milk - I just had to appreciate the value in working together. Many homesteading ventures would be completely out of our league if we didn't have the help of family. I'm tired but the day was lots of fun working together.

And maybe most impressive, my dad and mom are away from home this week while my dad preaches in another state. They would have loved to be here today but obviously they did some great training to take their place.


  1. all worked hard, and we didn't even get over to support your parents...have been praying though! :-)

    ~eunice b

  2. Wow! You are very blessed! I too love when we butcher a cow! YUM nothing like fresh beef from the farm. LOVED your pictures, apple cider looks great! Thanks so much for sharing, looks like you had a very busy but very productive day!

  3. Sounds like a lot of work, but such a blessing! What a great day!

  4. such wonderful God given bliss xx

  5. Good Morning Gina,
    I came across your blog last week by chance and am so glad that I was led here! I have enjoyed reading your posts and recipes.

    Yesterday's post made me smile. My husband and I live on a farm. Our children are all grown and moved away. Sometimes it's difficult to get everything done, I don't think it ever gets done, without the help of the kids. I do what I can to help my husband but we also take care of his mom. Most of my time is spent inside with her. How wonderful to have family close by that you can share both the work and the fun. The ground beef and cider look yummy.

  6. How fun to be able to live close to family. We have noever been able to do that and so I do as much as I can myself, but it isn't the same. I have a question about your apples. Where do you purchase cider apples? I have a beautiful cider press in my basement that I have never used due to finding cheap apples. Our trees are not big enough to produce that meany apples yet.

  7. Bekki -
    My brother picked up these apples at his wife's neighbor. Ask around at all the orchards in your area and maybe you'll find someone who will sell/give them to you.

    In some areas it is actually illegal to sell apples that have dropped from the trees. Often the orchards sell them as "deer apples". Dropped apples do spoil very quickly. These apples were picked up on Friday and we squeezed them on Saturday. They had some rotten spots on them and if we would have waited even a few more days, they would have been far more waste.

  8. Gina,
    Do you can the cider in a water bath and if so for how long? Also, do you add lemon juice?
    Thanks, Kristin

  9. Derek loved stopping by and seeing you all work together! The whole big family!

  10. Gina-

    This sounds like the perfect day to me! I have apples coming my way next week and I am so excited to get my hands on them. I can already smell the apple pie. Enjoy all your fresh food!


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