As the world turns toward autumn across the Olympic Peninsula, the cideries are bringing in the apples!
While bins and boxes come in, we reflect on the harvest season here at Finnriver—how it’s a time to gather the fruits, grown with great human effort and the grace of the elements, and a time to celebrate this crop with family, friends and neighbors near and far.
This fall, however, with another wave of Covid hitting hard, we are thinking about “harvest” as more than just the collection of fruit. It describes the way communities of people have shown up over and again, when the season was ripe and time was of the essence, to do what was necessary for the people to carry on.
That term “harvest” has multiple layers. It is the collection of food itself, the bins, barrels and bushels that come in from the fields. It is also the act of gathering in the crop, the picking, plucking, cutting and packing. And, beyond both of those, the harvest is the larger act of coming together to ensure that all will be well and nourished. It is the collective action that sustains us.
Community, not just food, is the fruit of this labor.
The Glorious, Golden Juice of Apples
Here at Finnriver, we are bringing the apples in from our organic orchard and from all over the region, pressing and processing them, and putting that glorious, golden juice into tanks to ferment. And around the peninsula, our neighbors at Alpenfire, Eaglemount and Two Hooligans cideries are all going through a similar seasonal cycle.
You can imagine us moving in rhythm to the rumble of the press, with juicy hands, piles of pomace on the barn floor and in our boots. Everyone smells like apple juice, doused in a perfume of Earth’s sweetness.
After that precious juice is pressed and pumped into the tanks or barrels, the fermentations begin. Yeast does its magic and alcohol emerges from the alchemy of sugars. Between all the Olympic Peninsula’s cideries, I’m sure you can taste at least a hundred unique ciders!
Coming Together with Cider
At Finnriver, we make cider to share the bounty of the harvest, to bring people together to drink in the beauty of the land, and to remind us all that we are mightily fortunate to be citizens of a planet with fruit.
The harvest reminds us we belong to the places where our food comes from. That without the crop, and without each other, we cannot endure.
This autumn, we hope your harvest is health! And we hope to see you at the cidery before too long…
By guest-blogger Crystie Kisler, co-owner Finnriver Farm and Cidery. Click here to learn more about the cideries and other craft beverage artisans of the Olympic Peninsula.