A big part of our business, especially in the winter, is sorting, packing, and shipping apples wholesale to grocery stores all over the east coast. Unfortunately, not all of the apples we grow are nice enough to put on a store shelf. When we sort the apples, anything that's too small, too green, misshapen, bruised or otherwise imperfect gets set aside to be used to make cider. Anything rotten gets fed to our neighbor's cows.
In the fall, when we're making a LOT of cider, we're able to use all of our cider apples. However, when the local cider business slows down over the winter, we're generating a lot more cider apples than we're able to grind ourselves. When this happens, we sell large loads of apples to processing companies around the northeast. These loads can range from 1000 to 2000 bushel (1 bushel = ~42 lbs). While some companies take the fruit in the bulk bins we store them in, other companies prefer to take the apples in a dump truck to save on shipping weight and avoid having to return the empty bins later. Today we loaded one of those trucks and I thought it would be interesting to share some photos of the process. Enjoy!