Many hands make light work at cider press (gallery)

Crisp apples, leaves, cold air — it’s the smell of fall. Six girls in long blue dresses and braids have their arms deep in a vat of water washing honeycrisps, liberties, Granny Smiths and pink ladies before handing them off to the boys.

The boys, all in muddy Wranglers, are manning the grinder and presser. The Smucker and McConnaughey families of Arlington, each with six children all under the age of 11, have come to Fruitful Farm in Oso for the day to make apple cider.

Owned by the Hall family for the past 10 years, Fruitful Farm runs a fruit and vegetable stand just off Highway 530 toward Darrington. Every year the family makes apple cider on their handmade press. This time, mom Carla Hall, and her son and daughter, Aaron, 20, and Sarah, 18, have invited the two families to help.

The kids and dads drop fruit into the grinder chute, taking turns using all of their strength to wind the press crank, as the moms look on, holding the little ones and chatting.

The cider is a mixture of several varieties, completely organic, with no additives, and is amazingly sweet. It took only two hours for the group to press about 35 gallons of cider, which went into the freezer to be enjoyed all year.

After the apples have been turned into juice, Sarah Hall leads the pack of kids around the farm like puppies, feeding the leftovers to cows, ducks and chickens. Not a drop is wasted.

More in Local News

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

1 arrested after SWAT team moves in on Marysville house

The incident was connected to an earlier robbery.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

County Council upholds ban on safe heroin injection sites

At Monday’s public hearing, more than 15 people spoke in support of the ban. No one spoke against it.

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

Most Read