The annual PressFest is taking apples to Creston for juicing. Photo submitted

PressFest returns to the Slocan Valley for 2020

Residents can get their apples juiced in Creston

Submitted by West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op

PressFest is back, which means you can pick your own apples again this year and have them pressed into amazing shelf stable juice, but things will look a little different this year.

Rather than hosting an event and bringing the mobile press to us, the West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op will load your apples and take them to Creston to be juiced and packaged and returned the following day. This should allow a swift and safe intake process and offer a window of a few days for you to pick up your juice after it returns to the valley.

Community load up will happen Saturday, Oct. 3 at Slocan Park Hall. Participating community members are required to register their order by emailing hub@kootenayfood.com and you will be given a specific loading time between 9 a.m. to noon to avoid backlogs and to limit the number of people onsite at any given time.

Here is what you need to know about having your apples juiced:

As always, windfalls and mouldy fruit will not be accepted, as it will contaminate the whole batch. Freshly handpicked unbruised fruit is best. It takes about five pounds of ripe apples to make one litre of juice. This year all juice will be packed into five litre boxes. You are paying only for the pressing, packaging and transport fees. Kootenay Food does not profit from this service.

We aim to expedite the loading process this year by having fewer people with larger volumes. There is a minimum volume of 200-plus pounds required per order. If you have less than 200 pounds of fruit you can team up with a friend or neighbour to bundle your fruit together ahead of time or you can donate your smaller volumes to Kootenay Food anytime the last week of September and in exchange you will receive a voucher for a free five litre box of juice.

Other ways to get involved:

If you are without fruit, don’t worry! You can still fill your pantry with Kootenay Food Apple Juice, available to purchase in October. All proceeds raised from our juice sales always go back to feeding our community. Another option is to spend a few hours picking in exchange for taking home fruit of your own. All our harvest rescue volunteers leave with a share of one-third of the total harvest. We have weekly gleans throughout the month of September all around the valley you can get in on. Sign up for harvest notifications at kootenayfood.com/volunteer or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have fruit trees you would like to be harvested by a small glean team you can reach out to grow@kootenayfood.com to arrange to have a harvest rescue. Homeowners can keep one-third of the volume and one-third share goes back to our community through the creation of shelf stable Kootenay food products! Your questions about PressFest 2020 can be sent to hub@kootenayfood.com.

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