I went to do a food waste pickup on Friday, July 3rd. They had a few bags of the usual type items i usually pickup, but also something different.
They had 18 boxes of apples. Each box was a Canadian bushel (slightly smaller than an American bushel). All Macintosh apples. But these weren't rotten apples...they were actually in beautiful shape. Macs are a soft apple, though, and the staff figured they were unlikely to survive the holiday weekend in good enough shape to distribute.
So, when the world gives you apples, I figured we might as well make cider. I have a homemade press, so we fired it up on the 4th of July and converted about a third of those apples into 10 gallons of cider.
The scraps from cider making still went to the chickens and the compost pile. Being ground up and no longer big, round circles they were easier for the chickens to pick over, quicker to decompose, and not as likely to roll off the pile (fresh whole fruit is NOT fun to pile up). And 10 gallons of delicious fresh cider for 4th of July week isn't bad.
Some of the other apples were given out to neighbors, since there was still so many. About seven bushels were tucked away in a cool corner of the basement and were made into applesauce the following weekend.
So, just another layer to the cycle of reclaiming food from the landfill. It feeds chickens, it feeds the soil...and sometimes it feeds me!