Festivals & Events

Freshly Squeezed

Mobile press makes it easy to get fresh apple juice

Apples can build community. That’s the core belief that powers the Comox Valley agri-business Pressing Matters, ampoule a mobile apple press that travels to farms and festivals all over Vancouver Island so locals can transform their fruit into juice—hassle-free.

Pressing Matters is housed in a state-of-the art 8×16-foot trailer complete with its own power source. The trailer hooks up to the local potable water source, and transforms to reveal an array of immaculate stainless steel processing equipment. Clients deposit their apples in the washer and the process begins.

In one hour, the juice trailer can process 1,760 pounds (800 kgs) of apples, producing 500 litres of fresh, flavorful flash-pasteurized juice, which is then filled into airtight BPA-free “bag-in-a-box” packaging. The service costs from $5.75 to $8.50 per five-litre box (less for unpasteurized, for those who want to make cider or store their juice in the freezer), depending on the amount of apples.

When the press rolls into town it usually becomes the focus for a festive gathering. Large and small orchardists, home gardeners, and really anyone who has access to apple trees gather to make juice. The event encourages people to pick apples that would normally fall and rot on the ground, and often community groups turn the event into a fundraiser. The whole venture supports food security by making it easy for everyone to eat (or rather, drink) locally-grown foods.

Christal and Andy Quinn of Quinnwood Meadow and George Ehrer and Marla Limousin of Nature’s Way Farm and Blue Moon Winery purchased the German-made juicer in the fall of 2012. Since then, they’ve travelled to events and orchards all over Vancouver Island.

“Wherever we go it generates a real community feel,” says Limousin. “People get to use what has grown here for hundreds of years. Basically, it’s a harvest festival, a reconnection to our local apple roots. And Denman certainly has deep apple-growing roots.”

For more information visit www.pressingmatter.ca or find them on Facebook.