Nebraska September 13, 2017
This Charming Cider Mill In Nebraska Will Have You Longing For Fall
Despite parts of the state still experiencing temperatures in the 80s and 90s, fall is definitely inching closer every day… and we couldn’t be more excited. One of the greatest parts of fall is visiting the orchards for all kinds of treats. One of our favorites is freshly-pressed apple cider.
Kimmel Orchard has been operating in Nebraska City since 1925. They not only provide southeastern Nebraska with delicious fresh produce and treats made from those fruits; they are dedicated to "
agricultural education research, historic preservation and wholesome family experiences."
Fruits are grown all throughout the warmer months, but in fall the apples start to ripen. That's when visitors can come out to watch the interesting process of cider making. Demonstrations take place in the apple barn from September to November.
After the apples are picked, they're sorted on the vintage 1964 apple conveyor. The littlest ones fall through the sorter to be used for cider. Grade 2 and Grade 3 apples (still delicious but not as pretty as Grade 1) are also set aside to make cider and other treats.
The cider apples are washed and ground up into a pulp, which is then pressed to extract the juices. The juice is filtered and purified - nothing else at all is added.
It's then bottled, capped, and labeled. In the old days this was all done by hand, but today the process is totally automated.
Some of the cider is put right into coolers to be sold immediately, while some is put into freezers so there's a continuous supply until the next apple season. Freezing doesn't diminish the flavor at all; thawed cider still tastes just as good as the cider that was pressed hours ago.
But not all of the juiced apples are made directly into cider to be sold in jugs. Some juice is used to make delicious treats like apple slushies...
...or hard apple cider or apple wine. Kimmel Orchards has a little bar inside the store, so you can sit down with a glass of your favorite adult beverage to take a break from a long day of apple picking.
Don't forget to sample an apple cider donut while you're there. It's impossible to overstate how good these are. They're very fresh, and it's hard to stop after just one.
During your visit, take a hayrack ride out to the orchard to see the trees heavy with apples, and even pick your own. The orchard has plans to add kids' play areas and an immersive educational experience in the near future.
You can find Kimmel Orchard at 5995 G Rd, Nebraska City, NE 68410. Keep up with the ripening schedule as well as special events at their
website or on their Facebook page.