Nothing takes the chill out of an autumn day like apple cider. Doug Jimerson, garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens, gives tips on when to pick apples and demonstrates how to use a cider press.

-Whether you like to eat them straight off the tree or baked in a pie, there's nothing better than a nice juice apple. Today, we're gonna talk about apple production. We have Doug Jimerson, he's the garden editor with Better Home and Gardens. -Hi Betsy. -Welcome to the show. -Thank you. -Now we're standing in your orchard. -Yes. -And tell me what kind of trees this right here. -The tree behind us is a Jonagold apple. It's a semi dwarf tree and one of my favorites in terms of eating fresh. -Is it ready to pick? -Ready right now. Feel free to take any apple you like. -Alright and I know there are a lot of different varieties, what other varieties do you raise? -We raised winesaps, Macintosh, Grimes Golden, Northern Spy, golden delicious, red delicious. -Umm, it's tart, but still sweet. -That's what I like about. It's got the 2 different flavors of the golden delicious and the Jonathan mixed together. -Are there different types of apple trees? -Yes there are. There are actually 3 apples come in 3 main types, dwarf, semi dwarf, and standard. The one behind us, the [unk] is a semi dwarf. You could see it gets about 15, 16 feet tall. The standards can get up to 30 feet tall with a big massive tree. -Yeah. -And then the dwarfs are about 8 to 10 feet. -And where do I plant my trees when I get them. -Apples are pretty easy. They need a full sun and well drained soil. -Alright. -They won't grow well [unk] and it's clay wet spots, but as long as they get 6 to 8 hours of sun a day, they will take off. -Do you spray these trees? -We don't. We're an organic location and as many apples as we have, we don't really need to spray. -Right. -Spraying comes down to personal preference in terms of what's a perfect apple. To me, a perfect apple tastes delicious. -Right. -How it looks is really not a top concern to me as we're selling to the public, but if you want apples that look like the apples you see in the grocery store, you need to have a spray program. -Well, there're a few spots, but it doesn't make any difference. -No, those are rust spots and they really not make any difference to taste and if you peel apple that really doesn't matter. -What kind of maintenance is required is required? -Apple's really require pruning. That's probably the main thing they need. -Okay. -You get out in the wintertime while the plant or while the tree is dormant, and you take out the cross branches, the dead branches, you open it up a little bit so the sun like it's in the center as we have with this tree as well as any vertical branches. Fruit is born on horizontal branches -Alright. -standing vertical. They are frequently called water sprouts. You see they're growing up out of the trunk of the tree. -Wanna get one of these. -You wanna whack them out. -So, what your tree produce is you have all these apples. What do you do with them? -Well, on our case, we have so many. We like so to make cider. So, we have an antique cider press, like to see how that works, go ahead. -That sounds delicious, let's go try. -So, this is the press? -This is it. -How old is this Doug? -This is built in 1800s. -Wow, can you get new ones? -You can get new ones of the internet from Garden Magazine sell them. -Are they build about the same as this? -Pretty the same technology. It's just a lot newer. -Alright. Can you walk me through the process? -Well, you basically put a few apples in the top. -Alright. -You fill your hopper with apples. There is a grinding mechanism here. -And I don't have to take stems off? -No. You don't. -There's a grinding mechanism inside. So you just turn the grinder. Hear that crunching sound? -Yup. -It's eating apple. -It's eating the apples. It sounds just like somebody biting into an apple. -And all that falls down into this basket, which is a net bag inside it. This captures all the pulp and the cores and everything else into there. -Okay, so what do you do when you're done grinding the apple? -When done grinding, you take your net bag, put it over like so and this is a double barrel cider press. You have to move this up here now. -Alright. -So, if you're really doing it, you could put this on-- keep grinding while you're the batch. -Just keep grinding. -Then you put that there and the net there and then you take this heavy board. -Okay. -which fits perfectly underneath, then you start to use the screw all the way down. -literally pressing down on the apples. -Yup, it's the name. -How many apples does it take to make a gallon of cider? -It depends on the variety. The juicier the apple variety, the more you get. But we found here about a bushel of apples makes about a gallon of cider. -Can you use like all different kinds of apples? -Yes, all different kinds. The better flavor, the more variety you put in to the mix. -Alright. -And you can also use a lot of the apples when you're [unk] that have been beat up or fallen from the tree. -Yeah, they aren't the prettiest, but they still taste good. They still have juice in them and so you just turn this all the way down and this will press out the cider into that bucket. -Alright. -And then when you're done, you just go to the opposite way, take this up, -Take it up. -take the bag out, dump the bag. -Now what do you do with the pulp? -Well, you can use it on you compost file or in our case we have both chickens and sheep here in the farm and they enjoy eating that. -Like that. -Has a nice supplement to your diet. -And then you drink the cider. -Then you get to drink the cider. -So, we have some -Certainly. -we just made? -Thank you. -Cheers. Umm, delicious. -It is very good. -Thanks for being on the show Doug. -Sure. -An apple orchard can provide shade and beauty as well as providing fresh apples in the fall.