Saturday we celebrated seven years on the land in East Chatham, the addition of a new member family (Scheible/Hanley), our first residents in the farmhouse (Beers), and the building of two houses (Michauds and Brauns)!
Starting about 1pm we worshiped as one, kids included, in the farmhouse, then went outside to play games together. After we laughed and ran around, we settled into the pleasures of pressing apples to make cider. All hands were needed to make this happen and, indeed, everyone helped. Some kids scrubbed the base of the press with wire brushes, other folks washed apples and cut out rotten spots, still others tossed the cleaned apples into an amazing shredding machine to prepare them for the cider press. When the press was full of shredded apples, folks took turns pushing and pulling the handle to squeeze out the last drop of cider.
As the buckets catching the cider filled-up, they were brought to a picnic table where the cider was carefully poured into various containers. Then came the onerous task of tasting the fresh-pressed cider. All were required for this task, too, just to be absolutely sure we were in agreement as to its deliciousness. All agreed!
By the time all the apples were pressed and the cider transferred to containers for folks to take home, it was almost time for dinner. But first there was time for one more game and releasing of milkweed seeds to fly sparkling into the evening sun.
After dinner came the bonfire with cider donuts, marshmallows, and more of our friends to share the celebration. We sang silly songs, some serious ones too, and enjoyed the warmth of the fire and our friends.
See illustrations of all above events on http://www.flickr.com/photos/15110909@N05/