The harvest is still the most labour-intensive time in fruit growing. Dessert fruit intended for consumption has to be “plucked". That involves manual labour: every single apple, every single pear, is picked by hand and has to be carefully packed and shipped. Fruit for juice or cider production, on the other hand, can be shaken from the tree and gathered up – which is quicker. To make cider, the fruit is first crushed, then pressed. The juice is fermented in a barrel and the cider is ready to drink by around Christmas. For centuries, cider was what families drank every day – either straight, or mixed with water.
Fresh fruit spoils after harvesting. Various methods have been developed to ensure it remains edible for longer. In the next chapter you’ll see a juice extractor, racks on which apples could be stored in cool cellars, and everything needed to preserve the fruit.
All depictions: © Gemeinde Fricklingen