Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Each fall we harvest many bushels of apples for making cider and vinegar. Our apple press has a built in crusher, but it is very hard to turn, so we came up with a solution. A garbage disposal. Of course it is a brand new disposal that is used only for apple crushing.
We mounted a separate sink in our kitchen right next to our regular sink, and mounted the disposal to it. Instead of being hardwired, we just put a plug on the disposal and plug it in when we need it (we could have hardwired it in, but this was easier for us).
The disposal is not hooked into our plumbing, instead we keep a stainless steel kettle under it to catch the crushed apples.
When we are not using the disposal (or crusher, as we like to call it) we place a cutting board on top of it.
We get a lot more juice from the apples because they are crushed much more then we could do them by hand, the apples come out almost as mush.
The only draw back is that we have to do small batches, about 5 to 10 gallons of apples at a time, because the disposal will over heat.
This has made our pressing so much easier and faster.
Our goal is to use Eliot Coleman's ideas from his book Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Longin our greenhouse. Last year we planted spinach, kale and chicory in half the greenhouse, but did not get the floating row cover on early enough, so we didn't get any greens through the winter. Most of the plants, however came back this spring and we are letting them go to seed so we can save seeds for next year.
In June we planted carrots, beets and lettuce in the other half of the greenhouse to harvest some this year and leave some for winter (we hope). Early fall we will harvest the lettuce and plant a spinach, or another type of cold loving green.