Apple enthusiast offers to pick your tree’s harvest and save you the best of the lot
Eric Bernard is on the hunt for local apples to pick, and he isn't picky: “If it’s free, it’s for me,” said Bernard, who posted on the Aylmer Community Group in late September offering to harvest apples and save the owners the best of the lot.
A number of local apple tree owners responded to the post, but so far, Bernard has harvested from only one. “I didn’t expect to leave with a whole truckload full,” said Bernard, who indeed left with the bed of his truck full of what he described as a crossbreed between “Red Delicious” and "Gala” apples. Bernard noted that different apple varieties are ideal for different uses. He prefers sour varieties for baking, and sweeter apples for cider so that the yeast has more sugar to munch on and grow.
Bernard said that he will be making “apple sauce, baked goods, and the holy grail: cider.” Although he has no experience in “intentional fermentation” (he has fermented by accident in the past), Bernard and his partner Emilie Kelso will be testing their luck at brewing cider for the first time this year. “We’ll be pressing the apples soon,” said Bernard “and then letting them sit for a while, and hoping they turn into some booze.” Kelso was keen to share that Bernard built their apple press himself. The “MacGyvered” press features a frame Bernard welded himself and an automotive jack. A DIY project through and through.
The local apple-picking season typically starts in late August and ends in early November.
Those looking to offload their apples or other fruit harvests can contact Eric Bernard on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.bernard.505
Bernard wishes to acknowledge the help of his friends Ian Mott and Ily Roldan-Stack who were “integral” in harvesting and pressing the apples.
Photo caption: Eric Bernard's post on the Aylmer Community Group.
Photo credit: Screenshot from the Aylmer Community Group on Facebook.
Photos 2, 3 & 4 captions: Eric Bernard's truck full of apples. The 'MacGyvered' apple press in action. The apple pressing session took place on Saturday, October 8, 2023.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Eric Bernard.
Photo 1: Eric Bernard's post on the Aylmer Community Group. September 27, 2023. (AR) Photo: Screenshot from the Aylmer Community Group on Facebook.
Photo 2: Eric Bernard's truck full of apples. October 1, 2023. (AR) Photos: Courtesy of Eric Bernard.
Photo 3 & 4: The 'MacGyvered' apple press in action. October 8, 2023. (AR) Photos: Courtesy of Eric Bernard.