Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cider Making!

The ESST family likes to organize events beyond the classroom in order to give everyone in the program a chance to relax, enjoy each other's company, and have fun!!  Cider making was just such an event!

After gathering at Alan Warner's house, all those in attendance got a quick run-down of the steps involved in making home-made apple cider.  Everyone pitched in; whether they were washing the apples, mulching them in a medieval-looking machine, turning a crank to wring out all of the juice, or funneling the final product into containers, everyone got to participate in the process!                                  
Our day at Alan's involved more than just making cider (which turned out to be quite delicious, by the way!).  Many of us took the opportunity to explore Alan's beautiful property, bond with some nearby cows, pet some chickens, and get to know our peers a little bit better!  

My absolute favorite part of the day involved a nature walk.  Armed with a map, 7 of us (and two very happy dogs!) set out on the tree-lined trails near Alan's house.  The sun was shining, the leaves were gently rustling, and a stream gurgled alongside our walking path.  The two dog companions on our expedition kept the walk lively and exciting as they splashed in the water and proudly trotted around with sticks in their mouths!  Finally, we emerged from the wooded area into a peaceful clearing alongside a small lake.  The lake, which normally would have spilled out into a creek, was kept contained by a very large beaver dam.  We all marveled at the engineering of such little creatures!  It looked almost magical how the water remained contained and perpetually suspended from falling.  Sitting quietly in the clearing, and looking on as two tail-wagging dogs dove after sticks in the water was the perfect way to spend a day!

Our day was nearly at an end.  Alan and his wife wrapped up the experience by generously opening their home to us, as we all gathered inside for good food, interesting conversation, and of course.....cider!!!!  

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