An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but at Memphis Botanic
Garden it also brings school children to the Harvest Festival.
Our Harvest Festival is taking place this year October 23-26
and October 29-November 2. This is an annual event and a
tradition for many schools. It helps supplement the lessons they have learned
in the classroom.
This year we added a new and exciting station all about apples
and apple cider. With the help of a grant from Tennessee Environmental
Education Association, we were able to purchase an apple cider press. The
“Jaffery Junior” is a valuable teaching resource for us.
At this station we teach the students that there are over 2,500 types of apples grown in the
To make the best tasting cider, we
are using different types of apples. This year we are using Macoun ( a sweet berry
tasting apple), Golden delicious (sweet and tart), Granny Smith (tart), and
McIntosh (sweet and tart.)
Each student can have a “turn” in actively making the
apple juice! Our apple grinder and press makes the process easy. It takes whole apples and grinds them into
apple mash. Then the pulpy mash is
pressed in the bag so the apple juices are separated from the chunky parts. The
juice can be served as apple juice right from this point, and let me say, this is
the best apple juice I have ever had in my life! We then mix this
juice with cloves, orange, cinnamon, and brown sugar, heat it in an urn, and
allow the kids to sample homemade apple cider.
You may be
wondering what we are doing with the leftover apple mash...members of the staff
have been taking it home and adding it to their compost piles!
by Kristen Zemaitis, Youth Education Program Manager
Want to see our apple cider press in action? Stop by the apple station at Halloween Hike, Saturday from 10 am-1 pm.