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

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

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

Arrests made in robbery-turned fatal Everett shooting

A man, 24, and woman, 18, were found at a hotel in Seattle.

Most Read