Cold off the press: a new apple press business opens in Knox, Maine
KNOX—On a sunny, October day, it’s the perfect drive from the Midcoast going inland as the trees are beginning to change. Just a couple of miles before the Ridge Top Diner in Knox, Morse Road turns down on a long stretch of farm road toward New Beat Farm, a horse-powered organic vegetable, flower and sheep farm in the heart of Waldo County.
Working out of an 1880s farm house, New Beat Farm’s owners Adrienne Lee and Ken Lanson have converted an unused barn space tacked onto their house as a place to house an old model apple press.
As we spoke the sound of the grinding press was pulling apples up a conveyor belt and chewing them down into juice and pulp into a bin that can hold approximately 55 gallons. “We paired up with our friend Debi Stephens who bought the 1950s Palmer Press in Massachusetts,” said Lee. Having taught herself through various courses and online on how to do apple pressing, Debi bought it a few years back with the dream of setting it up as a custom press and it was the right time for us to expand beyond our farm offerings into this new venture together.”
The trio call the new business Pressed For Cider and just had their Grand Opening September 30 with samples of just-pressed varieties of apples and crab apples procured from Knox and Waldo county. Along with a tour and fresh cider, there were complimentary donuts from an Amish bakery as well as bobbing for apples for the kids.
“People ask me, why do all this work for cider? And I say, ‘Why not?,’” said Stephens. “In the middle of winter, I’d rather be pulling cider out of my freezer than soda for my kids. Plus, we’ve met a lot of great people who work with orchards and made a lot of great friends.”
While Pressed for Cider’s primary business is custom pressing, they will also be selling half and whole gallons of raw, not sprayed, unpasteurized cider off the farm as well as at the United Farmers Market in Belfast, a Cider CSA. They are open through early November Fridays through Sundays by appointment. For more information visit: http://www.pressedforcider.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com