News article

Apple Pressing 2021

Although our Community Apple pressing event did not happen this year, we have been testing out various new presses bought by members of our nursery community. Malcolm Mackenzie kindly gifted his amazing press to Riverton Environment Centre and they are willing to share this resource. However, this year it was a bit late to organise a community pressing as most apples had fallen and a bit of lead in time is needed for people to put apples into the freezer for pressing. Next year we will set a date early for people to aim for and we will aim to have lots of different presses here to try. We are sold on the freezing idea as it means you don’t need the chipper device on your press, you also get more juice and a more clear juice than chipped apples. However you cant beat freshly picked apples either!

In May we pressed frozen apples on Chris Andrews new press which works with water pressure. Its quite large and presses very quickly once brought up to pressure. There is a chipper as well and this works in the usual manual way. Then we tried Russel Grahams new press – a mix of a commercial hydraulic jack with custom made stainless barrel and tray. It also worked very well with minimum effort as the hydraulic arm does all the work. Our own small traditional design works well on small batches and much slower but has the advantage of pulling smaller batches out of the freezer to press rather than a big load at once. However, next to Russells press it did look like a childs version – any maybe next year we can use it as that! These new presses are very efficient but don’t hold a candle aesthetically to Malcolms press – not only is it very functional but it looks so beautiful too – its like a work of art!