Juice of our Labors

September 30th, 2013

apple juice restingThere is NOTHING better than fresh homemade juice!!  It is more precious than the most expensive bottle of fine wine to me – now that I have made it by hand – kind of.  I mentioned last week that I was making apple juice.  This photo is of the freshly ‘juiced’ juice ‘resting’ in the frig.  It takes 24-48  hours for the particles to settle and then you filter the liquid by pouring it through a cloth.  I now have a much greater appreciation for the juice I buy in the store.

As I was washing and cutting the apples to put through the juicer, I was reminded of the days when the homemaker would have only had a wooden press to extract the juice.  I didn’t have to crank anything by hand.  I am grateful for electricity and the technology to make this process easier for me!

I also made grape juice for the first time this year. In August I picked 1 1/2 five gallon pails of concord grapes from a friend’s vines. He uses NO chemicals on them.  These are MY kind of grapes! After picking every single grape in the hot summer sun, stemming and sorting every single grape, washing every single grape, I pondered how casually I have wasted food! Every grape counts! When I cook too much at a meal, or take more servings than I can eat then I toss out those morsels of nutrition and the work it took to get it to my plate. After tasting the fresh juice and grape jelly, all the work cleaning, cooking, straining, resting, filtering, heating, and canning was definitely worth it!

The red wigglers in my compost bin are also very happy! They are getting fat on grape and apple skins.  I have had way too much for them to process so the outside compost bin gets the rest.  The bees have enjoyed that end of the fruit-cycle too! So I guess it is true that what goes around comes around. My apple juice and grape jelly were produced with good intentions, no chemicals which made it safe for the bees to pollinate the plants that were fertilized by the compost from last years’ garden scraps. That’s called a closed loop system. I love it when a plan comes together! I wonder if Welch’s composts their fruit skins?

What do you appreciate because you worked for it? What food loops could YOU close?

Kristi

Connection with Nature, Energy, Environment, Food, Health, Public policy, Waste Prevention, Water quality & conservation , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. | #1

    Ah, juice that is chemical-free, natural, and made with love. It’s such an accomplishment. I doubt Welch’s composts anything. But maybe I’m wrong.

    Any initiative that saves resources and gets me involved in a process that’s normally automated or done by a big company is worth my time.

  2. Kristi Cooper
    | #2

    I am checking with Welch’s to see what they do with the food waste after juice processing. I will share what I learn!

  3. Kristi Cooper
    | #3

    Hey all, I got a response back from Welch’s about the composting. They have a full circle use of the byproducts of the grapes when making juice. They are being very conscious of the environment and minimizing waste in their manufacturing process. They even sent my a couple of coupons toward my next juice purchase. I will use them AFTER my own juice is gone!

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