On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Palestine Lutheran Church Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom (R.O.C.K.) group pressed apples to make almost 100 gallons of cider. The youth worked in two-hour shifts at the church, from 10 a.m. to about 5 p.m., to get all of the cider made.
Members of the congregation brought apples from their yards and other places. In all, about 40 bushels of apples were pressed. Members also brought their containers, which were washed and used to hold the cider after it was pasteurized in the church kitchen.
Two presses were used to make the cider. One apple grinder and press was provided by Rex and Pauline Hall, who have an orchard two miles west of Sheldahl. They also donated some of the apples. The other press was from Dave and Martha Huinker, grandparents of one of the R.O.C.K. group participants, Jessica Blackmer.
Some of the cider was made available to the congregation for purchase the next day, and the group raised almost $400 in free- will donations. Some of the cider is being saved to serve at future events.
This was a first time activity for the high school- aged youth group, and it was brought about by the very large apple crop this year. Many people stopped by to see how cider is pressed and shared stories about how they did it when they were young.