Food

Glean Scene

How do you like them apples?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I recently came to the realization that the three giant bags of frozen Italian plums that are in my freezer from last summer’s harvest will have to be moved soon to make way for the plums that are currently ripening on the fruit tree.

I’ve made plans to give the still-viable produce to friends—which is likely what I’ll also do with the frozen blackberries from last year, the zucchini I once again over-planted and whatever else is currently growing at accelerated rates.

Judging by the responses I received on my Facebook page concerning the Great Plum Giveaway, a lot of people are in the same boat regarding the amount of fruit and vegetables they have in their possession in ratio to how much they can consume. (“We’ll put them with the 10,000 Italian plums we already have,” one friend commented.)

I don’t have any apple trees on my property, but if I did I’d be giving serious consideration to Honey Moon Mead & Cider’s second annual Bellingham Extra CiderHead Project, which asks residents to contribute apples to the craft cider project from now through the end of September. In return, they’ll receive a voucher for a portion of the finished product—which is expected to be released in mid-October.

“Part community service, part pomological adventure, the goal of this project is to produce a quintessentially local hard cider from fruit that would otherwise go unharvested or unused—the ‘extra’ apples that are growing quite literally in our own backyards,” Honey Moon’s Anna Evans says.

Those who want to donate their orbs to the cause can either drop off the fruit at Honey Moon’s tasting room in the alley behind Pepper Sisters or contact the mead headquarters to have a crew come pluck the fruit.

Even if you’re not sure what kind of apples you have, Evans says they’ll take them—whether they’re crab apples, gnarly apples or fruit from unidentified trees. In fact, last year’s vintage contained juice from dozens of different varieties, including “mystery” fruit, “all of which can add complexity and boost the acid profile of the finished cider,” she says.

In its first year, the finished product sold out quickly, and organizers are hoping to at least double the volume of this year’s offering. So keep an eye on your apples, and consider sipping on the fruits of your labor.

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