Cider Pressing at Jack Wasson’s Place

Last week our Self Reliant Community group was invited to Jack’s place.  He has a large, sturdy press and the 8 or so attendees were kept busy washing, halving, loading, pressing and bottling the juice.  Our 3 bushels of apples yielded about 5  gallons of juice.  I canned same, and am letting some turn to vinegar if we are able to leave it alone!  After the pressing we enjoyed cheese, cake and of course apple juice!

Jack’s place was historically the valley’s cider pressing place, in fact there is even a poem about it:

Wasson’s Cider Mill

Frank Carleton Nelsom

It’s hard to say just why it is, but

’round this time o’ year,

There’s something ’bout the autumn

days and in the atmosphere,

That takes me back to olden times in

memory, you know,

And once again I seem to live my

youth of long ago.

And greatest of the great events that

as a boy I knew,

In ecstasy that’s near divine, again

I’m living through,

For on that top-box wagon load of

apples comes a thrill,

Of riding o’er the dusty road to

Wasson’s cider mill.

And though the distance wasn’t

great, in miles exactly four,

The gait the horses jogged along, it

meant an hour or more

And long before we reached the spot

the odor in the air,

Proclaimed beyond all human doubt

that Wasson’s mill was there.

And then we’d have to wait and wait

sometimes an hour or two,

And when our turn would come at

last to run our apples through

My dad would grab the monstrous

scoop and work with all his might,

While I would watch the cider flow

and drink to my delight.

Of sanitation, I’ll admit, we’d really

never heard,

As far as cider makin’ went, there

wasn’t such a word,

For in the hopper often dropped the

bad ones with the good,

And well I knew they didn’t do

exactly as they should

But after all it said and done

regardless of the way

Of doing things long years ago and

doing them today,

I’d love to take a pitcher now and

sit and drink my fill

Of cider as they made it then at

Wasson’s cider mill.

This Indiana poet grew up near the Samuel Wasson farm.

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~ by Anuttama on November 9, 2012.

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