Homesteaders Getting More Bang from Your Apple Harvest

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Getting more bang from your harvest
Apple uses around the homestead

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Here in the hills of Missouri apple harvest is in full swing.   I headed out to our local orchard and ended up coming home with THREE bushels of gorgeous Johnna golds. These were the best apples I’ve ever eaten. One might wonder what in the world I would do with all those apples.

Between five kids and Hubs, they can go quickly around here but I was lucky enough to get some canned up for winter.

With my trusty apple peeler I set to work up these apples. This peeler is a lifesaver for me it not only peels it cores and slices the apples!

Apple peeler

Did I mention this bad boy can peel potatoes too!

I don’t like to waste anything and getting more return from my investment makes me happy. With this round of apples, I was able to make applesauce, apple butter, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar.

Applesauce and butter take the same first steps peel and core the apples but save those peels and cores cause we don’t waste a thing.  They go into a crockpot or big stock pot with a tad of water set to low cover and stirring occasionally.

While you’re waiting on the apples to cook take the peels and cores and place them in a mason jar. Have I mentioned my jar addiction? Its bad but I love them. Cover the waste with water preferably well or spring water. The chemicals in some city water hinder the fermenting process. You can add a quarter cup of sugar to jump-start the fermenting but I normally just let the apples do their thing. Now, this is important cover the jars with a coffee filter and secure in place with a ring. This keeps those pesky fruit flies outta the stuff but they will be drawn to where it’s stored. Stick the jars someplace dark and warm, I put mine in the back of a low cabinet we only use for overflow. Let them sit for two weeks at least then strain out all the peels and cores place in a clean mason jar seal with a regular lid there you have apple cider vinegar! I must stress you can not can with this vinegar as the acidity isn’t guaranteed.

I must stress you can not can with this vinegar as the acidity isn’t guaranteed.

homemade apple cider vinegar

Now back to the apples we were cooking once fork tender they are ready for sauce and butter. I use the recipes found in Balls canning books or on their website. All that glorious juice left over in the bottom of the pot gets canned or frozen for juice or maybe even some adult drinks!

There you have it one bunch of apples made Three products to stock your homestead pantry!