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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense

Apple Harvest and Cider Pressing with Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project
by Bradley Allen ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
On Saturday, September 28, the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project held their annual apple harvest and cider pressing party at the Live Oak Grange located at 1900 17th Avenue in Live Oak.
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[Photo: Pedal-powered apple and pear crusher]


By 10 a.m., people started arriving at the grange, eager to harvest and make juice. Some people began preparing apples straightaway, while the rest of the group split up to harvest more apples from two different locations.

One group harvested apples from a location close to the grange, while the other group caravanned to an old orchard in Soquel. The orchard belongs to Farmer Bill, who previously owned and operated a pear orchard in the Santa Clara Valley.

Like so much of the Santa Clara Valley, also known as Silicon Valley, Bill’s pear orchard was consumed by urbanization. The valley was previously known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight for its high concentration of orchards, flowering trees, and plants. Until the 1960s it was the largest fruit production and packing region in the world.

The Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project is an important component of revitalizing both knowledge and appreciation for harvesting and processing the abundance of fruit which grows so well throughout Santa Cruz County.

The apple crusher and cider press were both constructed in part by Steve Schnaar, the project’s founder and key organizer. The apple crusher is pedal-powered, and the design was inspired by similar bicycle-powered machines which Schnaar learned about while traveling in Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as Guatemala.

Participants, including a large family from Antioch, which traveled two-hours each way, arrived ready to work, but also motivated to haul home tubs of whole apples for processing and jugs of fresh juice for drinking or fermenting into hard cider.

As a small contribution to sustaining the project, participants are asked to make a suggested donation of $5-10 per person at each event, or purchase a yearly membership at a sliding-scale rate of $35-100.

For more information on the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project, including upcoming harvests and other events, please visit the group’s website at: FruitCruz.org

For previous coverage of the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project, check out:

§Blaize greets Farmer Bill at his orchard in Soquel
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Apples harvested by hand
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Blaize and Steve harvest apples
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§A bumper crop of apples at Farmer Bill’s orchard in Soquel
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Apples in a bucket
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Steve strains freshly pressed juice into jugs
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project’s peddle-powered apple crusher
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Preparing apples for the pedal-powered crusher at the Live Oak Grange
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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§Apples ready for the crusher
by Bradley Allen Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 9:39 PM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Glean On
Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 10:52 PM
I appreciate the work the Fruit Tree project does to promote gleaning locally. I think it's an area of huge potential. It's got hurdles (community outreach, liability issues) but those seem like bumps that could be smoothed out with the right cooperative partners.
by Pete
Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 11:43 PM
Need product!
by Ophiuchus
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 11:18 AM
The Fruit Tree Project has insurance, so liability isn't actually a problem. I don't understand what "hurdles" you think there are.
by Glean On
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 12:31 PM
The "hurdles" I'm talking about are called property owners. They're the ones who will want to know about insurance. I'm curious, what kind of liability insurance does the Fruit Tree project have? Is there indemnification insurance for property owners? Liability insurance for pickers? For property owners if a picker gets hurt on their property?

I support the idea by the way (if my name didn't make that obvious).

I discussed the idea with my neighbors and property owners and all of them express the same concerns.
by Ophiuchus
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 7:58 PM
I just know they are insured. For further details, you could contact the Fruit Tree Project and ask. http://www.fruitcruz.org/contact