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The tradition lives on

pCARTHAGE — A highlight of autumn is the harvesting of crops especially apples. For decades it has been a Ashcroft family tradition to utilize the abundance of apples to make apple cider and memories using a homemade press. /ppRecently, the family of Darren and Lori Ashcroft, picked apples in Mexico along with Michelle Higman, Chelsea Ashcroft, Kaitlyn Johnson and their children. Making it a family fun day, the children rode horses and played in the bouncy house after picking Cortland apples./ppReturning to Carthage, the group, joined by Katie Palladino and Marguerite Ashcroft, pressed a bushel of apples to make two gallons of fresh cider. The group partook in fresh donuts washed down with samples of the fresh cider./ppAccording to a Carthage Republican Tribune article from 1993, the press, inherited by Mr. Ashcorft’s father Michael, was made by the late Edwin Egnew, a former employee of Carthage Machine Company. The amateur woodworker, made press of solid maple. /ppTo process the cider, the whole apples are placed in a holding box at the top of the press. With turns of a crank, the grinder chops the apples into smaller pieces. From the grinder, the apple pieces fall into the slatted wooden holding tank, which is covered with a screened cloth strainer. In the final step, a screw mechanism presses the juice out of the apples. /p


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