Local crop processing project FAA/apple and pear processing in kout na sumave 2016

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A large cider press at a cider mill in Jersey, used for squeezing the juice from crushed apples (Photo by Man Wyi)

Introduction The aim of this phase of the project is to gather crops from around the village Kout na Šumavě and process them into a variety of high quality products. "Results of our efforts" will be distributed among the people involved, the village community and part of them among the people interested in the project who would like to support it (legal scheme has to be developed and applied). Aiming for fair distribution is crucial. Priority is to manage the project in a such way that the community see it as a positive activity and would like it to continue and develop in the years to come. Documentation based on the open source scheme and further promotion are important parts of this project.


Here you will find the overview of the project.

Food Hacking Base Center (fhbc)

To run this project in an organized manner we need a base which we can use for multiple purposes. It will be place where we organize the project, collect and evaluate data and prepare it for presentation using small multimedia center. It will also serve as a storage for both equipment and tools which are going to be used during the harvest, processing and post-processing phases and harvested fruits and products which we make. Part of the processing phase will take place there - if we manage to get shredder, press and drier they will be located and run there. Sample taking and storing will be done at this location so will be the post-processing phase which includes fermentation of the juices for example.

Basic Requirements

  • size - 50 square meters (+-5x10 m) of usable place should be basic requirement, 100 square meters would be great!
  • electricity - 16 Amps with 220V converter
  • water - we need running drinkable water and drainage, stainless steel sink
  • Internet connection

Multimedia center

The multimedia center will serve as a core for organizing this project, transfer of the data to electronic version, processing of the data and sharing it online. Digital information like photos, audio and video will be all taken care of here.

  • 1-3x computers
  • 1x printer (multifunctional if possible)
  • wifi/Ethernet connection to Internet, local network
  • digital camera


Here is list of equipment and tools suggested for the project, please have a look, comment and if you would like to contribute by something what we did not get yet please do so!

General Equipment and utilities

  • 3x shelving systems (approximately 2m wide, 2m high and 40-60cm deep)
  • 2x processing tables (240x60x100cm)
  • 1x community processing table (240x120x100cm)
  • 1-2x computer tables
  • sink to wash fruits and equipment

Equipment for harvest

  • 2x ladders (1x 3-4 and 1x 4-5m)
  • 1x stepladder
  • 3-4x baskets (10-15 l volume)
  • 4-6x hooks for baskets (to hang on the ladder)
  • 3x small cutters (to cut some apples off the tree)
  • 20x bags (can take 25-50 kg in apples weight)
  • 20-50x boxes for storage of fruits (10-20 kg capacity of each box)
  • 20-30x boxes for storage of fruits (5-10 kg, one layer of fruits only)
  • car to collect the harvested fruits

Equipment for processing and post-processing

  • "bath tub" for washing fruits
  • draining board for fruits after washing, so the fruit doesn't go to the boxes wet
  • shredder for apples and pears, probably DIY by us, small scale
  • press for apples and pears, probably DIY by us, small scale (15-30 kg pressing capacity)
  • dehydrator - to make dried apples and pears
  • packing machine - to pack dried apples and pears
  • blending vessel (up to 100 l) stainless steel - blending pressed juices
  • autoclave/sterilizer - for preserving the products and sterilizing the equipment
  • vessels to store the juice for "keeving"
  • incubator, DIY by us, for controlled fermentation
  • fermentation vessels approximately - 6x 10 l; 6x 20 l; 2x 50 l and 1-2x 100 l
  • crates for bottles - variety of types
  • glass bottles for both non fermented and fermented product, bottles glass&plastic with usual top and swing top
  • caps for bottles - variety of types depending on the type of bottles we get - beer style, screw type and also swing tops
  • glass jars with tops for jams, apple mash, compotes etc.
  • filter, straining bags

Equipment for analysis

  • pH meter
  • range of pipets and micropipets
  • laboratory glass
  • list of chemicals fallowing for example this manual


Here we describe and suggest the ways how to get resources to make this project happen.

Crowdsourcing Campaign

Part of the resources necessary to make this happen will be gathered through crowdsourcing campaign, so for more info please check here.


This section is dedicated to the variety of products which we want to make.

  • apple and pear juice
  • dried apples and pears
  • cider and perry
  • compote
  • "apple mash"
  • apple vinegar
  • calvados (legally produced by distillery)

Apple and pear juice

Horse-driven stone mill: At the Faîs'sie d'Cidre 2009, Jersey (Photo by Man Vyi)

Especially apple juice is going to be by the quantity the main product, even if only temporarily, of this project. If we want to be able to make our own juice we need to be able to wash the apples after harvesting, store them, shred them and press them collecting the resulting juice into vessels. If cooled down the fresh juice will last for up to few days. If we plan to preserve it for longer we need some sterilization equipment like autoclave or some "pasteurization" system. Variety of more or less questionable chemical substances may be used to help the process of preservation. Part of harvest's shredding and pressing are planed to be done in a commercial well equipped facility which will may result in product usable for commercial distribution.

This year it is the first time when we are going to be harvesting and pressing the juices. One part of the project is to make small amounts of juices resulting in just few hundreds milliliters to few liters collected. This will allow us for experimenting like for example making and comparing juice from each apple variety, taking samples from juices collected and use them both for tasting but also for chemical analysis - sugar contents, nutrition content etc. Also blending experiments should be done aiming for few to several liters batches of both non alcoholic juice but also for cider and distillate making. We may be able to process those amounts of apples and juice by using standard kitchen food processor with shredding and blending capacity and some small size DIY or bought press (like 10 l/kg of shredded apples capacity). For larger quantities of apples when we need to be collecting several to several tenths of liters per pressing in a quite efficient way (more than 60% pressing efficiency) we need proper shredder and bigger size press.

Equipment needed:

  • bathtub and sink for washing the fruits
  • food processor (with shredding and blending capacity)
  • apple shredder - larger size
  • apple press - small size, up to 10 l/kg of shredded apples per pressing
  • apple press - larger size, from 20 l/kg of shredded apples per pressing
  • fridge
  • autoclave or pasteurization device
  • crates and bottles
  • laboratory equipment for collecting and storing the samples


Apples contain by themselves up to 5x10(4) cells per gram of yeast microflora, spontaneous fermentation will therefore commence within a few hours if the temperature of the juice is above 10°C (Beech 1993). In a traditional cider fermentation no yeast or sulphite is added and the first few days are dominated by the non-Saccharomyces species such as Kloeckera apiculata and Metschnikowia pulcherrima. They multiply fast producing considerable amounts of gas and alcohol, generating also distinctive range of flavours, characterised by ethyl acetate, butyrate and related esters. When the alcohol rises to 2-4%, these species begin to die out succeeded by Saccharomyces uvarum (Lea online source). If sulphur dioxide is added to the initial juice, the non-Saccharomyces yeasts and most bacteria are suppressed or killed. This results in multiplication of Saccharomyces species after a lag phase of several days. The fermentation continues towards dryness with a more homogeneous and benign microflora than in the case of an unsulphited juice. Secondary infection by film yeasts and acetifying bacteria is also less likely. In commercial production after using sulphite a mixed inoculum of S. uvarum and S. bayanus is often used, with the first yeast providing a quick start and the later coping better with the fermentation to dryness of the high alcohol bases which are now common throughout the industry. Malo-lactic fermentation is occurring in traditional ciders very frequent, it seems to be a result of heterofermentative coccus Leuconostoc oenos, however other Lactobacillus species may be also present (Beech and Carr 1977, Carr 1983, 1987, Salih et al 1988).

Legal production and sale of products


"Prodej ze dvora"/"Sale from the yard" - legal way of selling products by primary producers to the end consumers, either directly from the production place/property, at the local markets or through the "local" small shop which is supplying directly the end customer.

"Pěstitelské pálení"/"Growers distillation" is a service of a designated "grower distillery" to make distillate from fruits harvested by a "small grower," producing fruit distillate. The consumer tax is half compared to other types of alcohol, max amount of alcohol produced in this way per "household" is 60 l of 50% alc/vol (abv) (30 l of 100% abv). Trees/bushes used for production has to be reported and are often checked by the legal authority (customs).

Things to take care off

There is variety of things which need to be taken care off before, during and after the project, we will try to list them here and add notes for their planning.

  • Electricity connection - we should be stationed at formal pub called "Korbelka", which has electricity connection, therefore we need just to reconnect. In Czech Republic the connecting to electricity should be done within one working week, not sure about the price of getting connected and monthly payments, there may be a need for deposit of unknown value, we need to investigate on that.
  • Connection to fresh water supply and drainage. Our venue has both, again we will need to check procedures for reconnection, time needed and of course fees.
  • Internet connection. We need to check if there is free wifi in the village (I think there is and our venue is part of the "village hall") , if not we need to find solution how to get temporarily connected. We may investigate some mobile type of Internet connection like the "egg" etc. One option is LTE connection, example of a device is here.
  • Disposal of organic "apple" debris after crashing and pressing the apples. We may have hundreds of kilos of waste which needs to taken care off, therefore discussing this in advance with the village officials, or some local farmer is important.



The Wittenham Hill Cider Portal by Andrew Lea is a great source of high quality information from senior and well respected cider maker (PS - pay attention to the way how the texts are written, it is a joy just reading it for the English itself).

Speidel apple mill is a nice example of motorized high quality mill suitable for amateurs and small commercial producers.


Pěstitelská Pálenice Císler/Cisler Distillery - locally well knows and recommended distillation facility for small growers. They offer crushing and pressing services, it is also possible to buy yeast. They need confirmation that fruits for distillation is coming from the trees/bushes/plants of the producer = person who asks for the distillation service.


Types of milling devices

  • horse mill (stone mill) - used in England, Jersey and Northern France producing pulpy mass called pommage. It was replaces later on (in England during 20th century mostly) by rolling mill
  • toothed roller mill - it was introduced in England in 1689 by agriculturalist John Worlidge and is used still (I have to check if the new models are still called roller mills)

Types of cider presses

  • lever press/screw press - traditional form operated by horses, either alternating layers of straw and pomace - this mixture is called "cheese" or the pomace is wrapped in cloth
  • hand press - small screw press operated by hand
  • hydraulic press - introduced by beginning of 20th century.
  • when the cider is extracted/pressed, the residue is called math, cake, powz or pommace. Watering and pressing again results in weaker cider called ciderkin.

LOG of the project

Summary of activities in period 7/1/2017 till 20/2/2017)

After return to Normandie, three main experiments were carried out. Approximately 50 l batch of cider was taken from main Christoph's (Ferme du Vastel) commercial production. It was after first transfer (to decrease the amount of yeast in the ferment to slow down the fermentation) with specific gravity being 1.045 and pH 3.5. It became my educational batch and labeled ECN-7/1/17 fermenting in glass demijohn. Second experiment was done in collaboration with Christophe processing apples which I've harvested at his orchards processing them using his equipment. We have produced around 40-50 l of apple juice of specific gravity 1.053 and pH 3.1 labeled ECN-I-12/2/17 fermenting in white plastic vessel. The third experiment was based on addition of water to already pressed apples for ECN-I-12/2/17 and pressing it again and fermenting the resulting 22 l of juice, labeled ECN-II-12/2/17, with water kefir to very tasty and refreshing lactic drink - WKC-II-13/2/17.

Summary of activities in period 25/10/2016-1/1/2017

Total amount of apples harvested around Kout na Šumavě during autumn 2016 was over 500 or 600 kg. I estimate slightly over 500 kg were processed for variety of products. On 12/11 I've processed 120 kg of apples harvested from around our village to 75 l of apple juice and 60 kg of apples brought from Normandie to 30 l of juice. I've prepared six batches of cider, different blends totaling in around 70 l of cider, all were let to ferment as "wild fermentation", experiment labeled as EC-12/11/16. On the same day 12/11 I've also brought 160 kg of apples harvested from our family property to the "grower distillery Cízler/Pěstitelská Pálenice Cízler", which should result in approximately 15 l of 50% alcohol, costing around €100 in total (160 Kč = €6 per 1 l of 50% alc.), available and payable by the beginning of spring. On 16/11 I've processed 35-40 kg of three or four varieties of apples for drying, resulting in 6-10 kg of dried apples (did not measure the weight, drying period 42 hours from 16/11 till 18/11), costing me 400 Kč (€16). The taste of the final product was excellent! On 1/1/2017 I've siphoned the ciders (EC-12/11/16) to dispose the yeast cake and debris, returning the brews into same rinsed fermentation vessels. The flavour of ciders brewed from Normandie apple varieties (blend I.) EC-I.A (Vc=10 l), EC-I.B (Vc=5 l) and blends containing juice from Normandie apple varieties, EC-III. (Vc=10 l; 2.5 l of blend I) and EC-IV. (Vc=35 l; 13 l blend I.) were superior to the flavour of cider made solely from Czech apple varieties harvested around Kout na Šumavě (blend II.), EC-II.A (Vc=10 l) and EC-II.B (Vc=5 l). All the batches were left to continue to ferment at approximately 10°C at the same location.

Detailed LOG of activities

  • Monday 20/2/2017
    • ECN-12/2/17 - the cider "did not move" = did not started to ferment yet due to low temperature (around 8°C), therefore the specific gravity which we measured = 1.053 and pH 3.1 (at 8°C) should be the same as when the juice was pressed.
    • ECN-II-12/2/17 - the "poor man cider's" specific gravity was 1.026 and pH 3.2 (8°C), also it did not started to ferment yet due to low temperature.
  • Sunday 12/2/2017
    • Experiment cider Normandie - ECN-12/2/17
    • ECN-12/2/17 - Processing of the apples, pressing and setting up the batches for fermentation.
    • around 30-40% of the apples which I picked several weeks before went bad. The delay in processing was due to the malfunctioning of the electric crasher/mill, it took several weeks to repair it.
    • Total weight of apples for processing after selection was 104 kg. The apples were transferred part by part into 50-70 l plastic bucket full of fresh water, let to sit for 2-5 minutes, steered a bit and taken out by special sieve tool with long handle and put into the electric crasher (rinsing procedure). The mashed pulp was collected into 50-70 l plastic buckets where it was kept till pressed (few hours max in this case).
    • For the extraction of the juice mechanical press was used, with 8 t car jack to generate the pressure. The mashed apples were transferred on the canvas which was put on a wooden flat sieve and wrapped all around the mash, next sieve was put on with the cloth, special wooden rim was used to keep it in the shape when packing and also to judge more accurately the proper amount of mash added. Six to seven layers were made per press, we made two pressing. We did not have enough crashed apples to fill up the second pressing sufficiently, so we left around three pressed layers in and filled up three with fresh apple mash - we needed to have certain hight of the pressing bed.
    • The juice was collected into 20 l plastic "milk jugs" and transferred to the fermentation container, all the juice mixed together. The juice pressed at the end of each pressing had more sugar content and more tannins (based on tasting, experience (Christophe) and info from literature). We gained around 40-50 l of juice, which is around 40-50% press efficiency, not bad considered that the apples were sitting for several weeks prior the pressing and it was mid of February, therefore more than two if not three months after the main harvest time.
    • The fermentation container was washed thoroughly with water and detergent and rinsed very well with fresh water. It was 60 l white plastic barrel with spigot and wide mouth top with water lock (which was hard to seal properly). The fermentation container was placed next to the ECN-7/1/17 which was inside of one of the farm buildings and it was filled up already in position. The culture volume was around Vc=40-50 l, the temperature of fermentation was around 6-10°C depending on the weather. The final name of the experiment was = ECN-12/2/17.
    • Experiment Cider Normandie II - ECN-II-12/2/17, "Poor Man Cider" (French name for the techniques = ???)
    • ECN-II-12/2/17 - when all the apples were pressed for ECN-I-12/2/17, we have split the pressed mashed apples in half into two buckets and added 10 l of water to each. We let the batch sit for 30-40 minutes and after that we have loaded the press once more gaining around 25 l of juice. The taste was 6/10, nice but bit watery, it could be felt that it was diluted a bit with water. I've took 10 l with me to Cherbourg and started later on a batch of water kefir ferment from it which resulted in a very nice fermented probiotic beverage, mostly lactic fermentation by the flavour (WKC-II-13/2/17).
  • Sunday 29/1/2017
    • Experiment cider Normandie - ECN-7/1/17
    • The cider did not start to ferment yet ("not moving" = no bubbles, no change of flavour) therefore the specific gravity should be nearly the same as when I got the samples. Because of a bit fermented flavour I expect it to be maybe around 1.050 or so when pressed. We measured the specific gravity at 8°C and it was 1.045, pH 3.5. The flavour was really nice 7/10, bit drier than the other samples which we tested (Christophe's main production). For me all the samples tasted slightly fermented.
  • Saturday 7/1/2017
    • Experiment Cider Normandie - ECN-7/1/17. I've decided to add cider experiments which I did at the beginning of the year of 2017 in Normandie to this section dedicated to the "local crop processing project" which is focusing on the region of Kout na Sumave in Czech Republic because these activities are interconnected - partly by the source of apples, techniques, knowledge etc.
    • Christophe gave me 50 l of his freshly fermenting cider which was started at ???. It was the first transfer of the cider, disposing the sediment (decreasing the amount of the yeast cells in the brew). We have moved the cider into glass demijohn (slightly green colour) and let it ferment in one of the adjacent buildings out of the direct sunlight. The vessel was covered by lid but not sealed. The brew was labeled as ECN-7/1/17.
  • Sunday 1/1/2017
    • EC-12/11/16 continuation
    • I've siphoned the ciders in order to remove the sediment rich on yeast cells and other particles. I've done as fallows: I thoroughly washed 100 l stainless steel vessel and one liter plastic measuring cup which I used later on to transfer the brews. I took batch by batch and carefully decanted the liquid part directly from the vessel to the 100 l vessel, trying to leave the sediment intact in the brewing vessel disposing it later in to specific container. I have cleaned the brewing vessel rinsing it several times with fresh tap water. I've returned the brew back to the same vessel, put on the airlock and move it back to the fermentation place. I've done this with all the brews except EC-III. and EC-IV. which where too heavy so I transfered them by measuring cup. The temperature of the brews was around 10°C. I put aside sediments of EC-I.A., EC-I.B., EC-III and EC-IV. let them sit for two hours or so and bottled the top liquid part and disposed the final sediment as waste. The liquid part was drunk later on, it was tasty young cider.
    • EC-I.A. and EC-I.B. had same flavour, sweet and tart, alcoholic, very nice.
    • EC-II.A. and EC-II.B. were both very sour and also alcoholic, NOTE - both had airlocks sealed improperly.
    • EC-III. was alcoholic, slightly sweet and tart
    • EC-IV. tasted tart, little bit sour, quite dry
  • Sunday 20/11/2016
    • EC-12/11/16 - I think I've seen a bubble from EC-III. but non of the other brews bubbles. In the glass fermentation vessels I can see sediments. EC-I-A. and EC-I.B. have both a bit of white cultures like dotes on the surface of the brew. Temperature of the air around the fermentation vessels is 8°C.
    • Note - I have been tasting the apple juice which was kept cold over one week after pressing and it tastes still great. Bit sweeter I feel like and less sour but good. The one which got warm (at least for one day at 20°C) tastes slightly fermented and alcoholic - nice taste, at least 6/10 (10 the best on the scale).
  • Friday 18/11/2016
    • It took around 42 hours to dry the apples out costing 400 Kc. The usual time if cut more thinly for drying should be around fifteen hours. Once the apples were dry we have tasted them, they were delicious especially the more sour varieties and we packed them in a plastic bags, later on I have double packed them. I gave one back (+- one fifth) to Parik and rest I kept, not sure about the weight exactly. For some people the apples were to dry but I liked it and it will be good for shipping because of the smaller weight and less susceptible to contamination by molds.
    • Summary - the drying of apples took around 42 hours, costed 400 Kc.
  • Wednesday 16/11/2016
    • Approximately 35-40 kg of fresh apples were washed, checked and cut. One box of greenish variety, half box of big red apples and rest around two boxes medium size winter apples. It took me over two hours to process one box which is around 15 kg of fruits. I have cut the apples first in half and later to quarters, around six of them or so at the time, cut out the middle with thin knife and at the end sliced the quarters to thinner slices, with smaller apples just to eights and with bigger ones to sixteenths or even more, however still when we asked later on the guy who is doing the drying, our apples were still too thick and it took extra time to dry them properly. During the processing I have washed the whole create in the bathtub - spray it with the shower, let it dry a bit and moved part of the apples to the table at the time. Once the apples were cut I have moved them to a plastic bag and closed it. When all was prepared we went to the drying place and we have spread the apples on the stainless steel drying racks as thinly as possible and started the drying. There were seven racks, we filled up nearly six.
    • Summary - I've processed 35-40 kg of apples for drying making thin sliced pieces and started the drying process.
  • Tuesday 15/11/2016
    • In the morning I continued with cleaning up the garage from all the materials and stuff, sweeping it clean and having it ready for the construction activities planned later on, done around three o'clock. In the evening I left for Ceske Budejovice where I planned drying of the apples. I took seven boxes of apples with me, different varieties.
  • Monday 14/11/2016
    • Starting to empty the garage in our house to make it ready for doing the concrete floors, plastering and painting so it can serve later on as a proper storage for my projects. First I was sorting Food Hacking Base (fhb) equipment and moving it properly packed to Korbelka.
  • Sunday 13/11/2016
    • Taking mostly off.
  • Saturday 12/11/2016
    • In the early morning I have washed the containers for the apple juice and left for pressing, arriving around 7:45 being third in row. I have found out that this type of job is rather for two people, next time I should bring someone with me. There were two men who operated the crasher and the press, the facility took care about the pressed residue (handing it to local hunter association). It took around thirty minutes or so to process the apples. We processed 60 kg of the cider apples from Normandie, pressing around 30 l of juice labeled as "Blend-I." and 120 kg of apples harvested around Kout na Sumave, pressing around 75 l of juice labeled as "Blend-II." The flavour of the Normandie cider was tart and slightly sweet. The flavour of bland-II. was sweet and sour, kind of sharp. The cider was transported in plastic and stainless steel brewing vessels back to Kout and let to sediment outside at minus temperature during the day, resulting in temperature of the juice around 2-4°C when processed in the evening.
    • During the noon and early afternoon I have washed the fallen apples picked up during the previous days (from our personal property) preparing them for the "grower distillery Cizler/Pěstitelská Pálenice Cízler" which was unnecessary at the end because they have their own washing utility. I have brought nine crates of apples, two crates of "sametka-red autumn apple, two crates of greenish apples (sour), one crate of red big sweet apples (which were getting rotten fastest of all, autumn apples) and the rest were the most common winter apples. The total weight of the nine crates was 160 kg which should result in approximately fifteen liters of 50% alcohol, costing around 160 Kč (€6 per 1 l of 50% alc.). When the alcohol is ready in the early spring the distillery will contact me so I can pay and pick it up. To be able to legally process the fruits for alcohol the distillery needed documentation for ownership of the property where the grower grows the crop. In this case the buying contract for our garden (made in my father's name) was used and especially the number of the "property/katastrální číslo". As my father's son having his surname I have legal right to enter the property therefore I could make the arrangements in the distillery directly in my name after the documents were provided.
    • In the evening I cleaned all the gear needed for the juice processing. I have prepared two +- 100 l stainless steel pots for "homogenizing" separately the batch-I and batch-II. I have decanted the 10% or so of the juice sediment to a special container which was used later on as batch of cider (EC-IV-12/11/2016; Vc=10 l). Each blend was mixed properly.
      • I have labeled these experiments as Experiment Cider-EC-12/11/2016
        • EC-I.A - Vc=10 l; blend-I; wild fermentation; 10 l glass demijohn with airlock, just several deciliters of air left in the vessel
        • EC-I.B - Vc=5 l; blend-I; wild fermentation; 5 l glass demijohn with airlock, just several deciliters of air left in the vessel
        • EC-II.A - Vc=10 l; blend-II; wild fermentation; 10 l glass demijohn with airlock, just several deciliters of air left in the vessel
        • EC-II.B - Vc=5 l; blend-II; wild fermentation; 5 l glass demijohn with airlock, just several deciliters of air left in the vessel
        • EC-III.- Vc=35 l; blend-I.=13 l plus blend-II.=22 l; stainless steel vessel, max volume around 39 l
        • EC-IV.- Vc=10 l; blend-I.=2.5 l plus blend-II.=7.5 l; stainless steel vessel, max volume around 12 l, the flavour of the batch is bit tart; Note - EC-IV.12/11/2016 the airlock was broken so the water leaked, it was changed week later for the same type
        • When the vessels were filled they were locked by airlocks and transferred to the place where the fermentation was about to take place, the temperature of the brew was around 2-4°C. The fermentation place in the cellar had temperature around 8°C and it was completely dark (later one when measured it was rather around 10°C during the fermentation).
    • Got keys during the day to Korbelka and started to clean the place getting out the garbage and sweeping the floors it in the afternoon, it took me around two to three hours and it was mostly done.
  • Friday 11/11/2016
    • I need to do more harvesting planning on getting at least six boxes today or more, it is the last day when I can do so. I have washed the apples for the tomorrows morning pressing, it took few hours to clean around 11-13 crates, I have done that in our bath tab and loaded the apples later on to the car. In this case approximately two boxes of apples were "sametka" (the red juicy summer or rather autumn apple, fallen one), one or two crates of the big red sweet apple (autumn one, getting rotten first), two boxes of small sour yellow apple (recommended by Christophe as cider apple) and the rest of the eight boxes (probably three) were the smaller winter apples which were the most common around Kout. I think I've harvested another four or five boxes of apples, picked up from the ground which I did not wrote down in the location around "Mrakovska cesta" - the small yellow sour variety, box or two of the autumn small red juicy apple and a box of "spartan" or similar type of apple - red and sweet.

Summary - cleaned apples before Saturday juicing; picked up another 80 kg of apples.

  • Thursday 10/11/2016
    • Around the noon I have got final confirmation that I can use the place and received the keys. We took out two fridges and dumped them, after that I went to pick up fruits, getting around 60 kg (4x boxes), getting my hands really cold. In the late afternoon and evening I was cleaning the base, sorting and throwing out the garbage, sweeping and cleaning the sink area. The place is now nearly ready to be used but still the water and electricity needs to be sorted. I also visited during the day Palenice Cizler and booked myself for visiting on Saturday afternoon.
    • Summary - I got keys from Korbelka and cleaned a bit the place; I have picked up 60 kg of apples.
  • Wednesday 9/11/2016
    • I have visited the Korbelka place ("the base") again, learned more about water connection, we have sorted keys to the place which I should be able to receive by tomorrow and we discussed the lease agreement for shorter period of time like one and half months, I need to ask conditions for possible prolonging. After the lunch I managed to contact the mashing and pressing facility in Domažlice and found out that their last pressing is on Saturday 12/11/2016 starting at 8:00 till 11:00, price per kilo of apples to press should be around 3 Kč, I need to have my own containers for the juice. I have done also shopping that day, buying 10x black plastic boxes for fruits (reticulated ones/with holes to allow the fruits to breath), 89 Kč each, I also got 30x pieces of tops (4.30 Kč per piece) for 3 l jars which we have plenty at home already (otherwise the price is around 25 Kč per piece in usual shop). I got some protective gear for cleaning the Korbelka space, bought also lime (calcium mix/vápno) in case I have time to paint the ceiling (which has to be sprayed however). In the evening I transferred apple treas to the pot with water, planning to plant them next day. I discussed with my friend processing of apples for drying in České Budějovice and it should be possible, I need to book for that, I will do that tomorrow. One batch for drying is around 40-50 kg of apples and it should cost several hundreds of Kč, I expect around 500 Kč.
    • Summary - arranged pick up of keys for Korbelka for next day; arranged pressing of apples on 12/11 in Domazlice (Svaz Zahrádkářů); bought boxes for harvest and storage of apples etc; got info about apple drying in České Budějovice.
  • Tuesday 8/11/2016
    • I met the village major in the morning arranging viewing of "Korbelka" for 12:30. I have seen the place, especially the area of former "vinárna/wine restaurant" was of interest and cellar. The connection and upkeep of water and the electricity has to be sorted, place has to be cleaned and I should consider painting it. To take care about water and electricity should cost around €100. In the afternoon I tried to visit wood shop for buying material to build press and masher but it was closed. I have contacted several of the members of the "Svaz Zahrádkářů/gardeners association" concerning mashing and pressing services but most of the places are closed by now.
  • Thursday 27/10
    • at 8:30 I started to harvest the apples again, returned to the "ctyri lipy location". I have harvested the same tree, getting two big boxes (+-25 kg one crate) of it. Also I have picked up "fallen apples" from below one of the tree, two standard crates (+-15 kg one crate) I'm quite sure they were autumn apples. I have picked up small basket of one traditional apple (I think traditional, the tree is likely more than 100 years old) and one basket of fallen small yellow apples which were very sour. I moved all the apples to the storage under the stairs in the house, cleaned my uncles equipment and returned it to him.
    • I did not meet our village major, waited for him but he did not showed up so after 15 minutes I left and did other things.
    • I prepared apples for tasting for the trip to Normandie.
    • Summary - I have harvested around 90 kg of apples or so, cleaned and returned equipment and prepared for trip to Normandie.
  • Wednesday 26/10
    • around 8:00 I met with village major announcing that I am ready to start to harvest that day which he confirmed is OK with him and we agreed on meeting next day around lunch when he or one employee can show me the "Korbelka" space where I would like to process the apples when I come back from Normandie.
    • I visited the forest and picked up some mushrooms, they were really growing nicely
    • at 9:30 I was ready by the trees starting to harvest. I have picked up the location above the ponds (Prednak and Zadnak), starting from the far end. I have found out that the apples were mostly at the top of the trees I think the bottom was harvested by people already. My ladder was bit too short (around four meters) but I have managed. By the lunch I had around five boxes (+- 70 kg) of apples harvested.
    • during the harvest police past by and asked me for "written permission" from village major that I can harvest these alleys and claiming that the trees are not property of village by the "road service" and I have to pay for each tree. I responded that village major is informed about my activity and agrees with the project and that these trees do not belong to the road service but to the village. Next time I should have written permission ready and I need to check on exact boundaries of village "katastr" so how far I can legally harvest.
    • after the lunch I have unloaded the boxes and left for harvesting next to "ctyri lipy" region on the road to Stary Dvur. I have found really nice big tree there with lots of apples and made around seven boxes of one type of apple (winter apple), smaller in size with nice flavour. I picked up around 100 kg or more.
    • after harvest I drove a bit around our region checking what types of apples grows where.
    • When I came home I prepared space under the stairs in our cellar for the apples and reloaded most of them to other plastic boxes and paper boxes and got ready enough boxes for next day morning harvest.
    • Summary Wednesday 26/10: met village major, got confirmation all is OK, set up meeting for next day; harvested over 150 kg of apples and stored them properly; talked to police next I need written permission for harvest
  • Tuesday 25/10
    • I Algoldor have quickly checked the apple and pear trees around Kout na Sumave. The amount of fruits were still decent, several to tenths of tuns by quick estimate. It looks like mostly only winter apples were still possible to harvest from the treas the autumn apples were nearly all down below the trees.
    • I have emptied and cleaned boxes for next day harvest, borrow ladder, stepladder and baskets from my uncle and bought two hooks to hang the baskets
    • by the evening all was ready
    • Summary Tuesday 25/10: Checked out that there is what to harvest; got everything ready for going out and harvesting.


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