XCFeedsNature’s Bounty

FasterSkier FasterSkierOctober 19, 2011

Training and preparing for a big ski season demands a tremendous amount of time and energy. I’ve found over the years that in order to be at my best during workouts, I need to be focused equally on recovery and leisure time. This past Sunday was a perfect example. Read on…

Back in 1994 my folks bought a small piece of land in the hills outside of Winthrop, on the Rendezvous road. The property has an aspen grove situated immediately behind the house they built in 1997, and a century-old orchard adjacent to the house. When we moved there, the orchard had not been tended to for decades; the last resident on the land had run a fox farm, and there were still remnants of chicken wire in a field where the cages were located. The orchard itself was a testament to the resilience of nature – a few dozen apples trees (the varieties of which we haven’t ever identified) are aligned in even rows, interspersed here and there with a large apricot and a few small plum trees.


The orchard has served many purposes in my life. Growing up there I would spend hours climbing all the trees and building makeshift forts fifteen feet off the ground as my dog looked on from below. Many years later, I buried that same dog in the middle of the orchard after her life had run its course. I’ve shot a few deer that come through for apples, making for some tasty meat to fill the freezer. And finally, for the last decade or so we’ve harvested apples every year to press for cider, both fresh and hard (fermented). A cider-pressing is another great occasion to celebrate fall, and every year my mom has faithfully made a fresh batch of buttermilk donuts to go along with the newly-pressed cider we extract. This past Sunday was no exception, and Mom’s donuts were arguably the best ever. We pressed over 25 gallons of cider, with 15 of those gallons going into fermenting carboys to create Dad’s delectable (and stout) hard cider. Cheers!

Mom’s donuts, fresh out of the hot grease and dredged in cinnamon-sugar.
Alison cutting bruises out of the harvested apples before we send them through the press. The press was custom built as a birthday gift for my Dad last year. Fifty gallons and counting…

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FasterSkier

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