Groundswell Graduates Team Up to Offer Cider-Press Workshop

Hands-On Sessions, 9AM – 4PM, November 26th and 23rd

We’re pleased to report that two graduates of our Farm Business Planning Course are collaborating on a unique  two day cider press workshop. Join veteran carpenter and carpentry teacher and Maria Klemperer-Johnson (Double Dog Timberworks) and master cidermaker Eric Shatt (Redbyrd Orchard Cider) to build your own rack and cloth press, learn about the history and techniques of cidermaking, and press your first batch of cider on your brand new press.

Redbyrd Orchard Cider Apples

New York state has a rich tradition of cidermaking, both hard and sweet. Unfortunately, recent changes in food safety laws requiring expensive pasteurization of cider have put some local custom presses out of business. Now the easiest way to get un-pasteurized cider, either sweet or to make hard cider, is to press your own.

Nov. 16: Maria will guide participants through the assembly of cider presses. Frames are pre-cut and drilled for fasteners, but must be assembled. Racks must be nailed together, and the trays must be assembled. In order to have a functioning press by the following class, any remaining work should be done by participants during the intervening week.

Nov. 23: Eric Shatt and Deva Maas of Redbyrd Orchard Cider will teach us all about the history of cider, growing apples, making cider, and different apple varieties. Then we will put our presses to the test, each grinding and pressing enough apples to fill a 5-gallon carboy. At the end of the day, you may optionally join us for a tour of the Redbyrd’s orchard and pressing facility in Hector (about a 15 minute drive away.)

Both classes meet from 9 am until 4 pm at 3285 Jacksonville Rd, Trumansburg.

Cost: $1000
Price includes two days of instruction ($200 value), cider press kit ($450 value), apple grinder ($300 value), apples to press 5 gallons of cider ($50 value). Fermentation vessels available for purchase. Press kits include local hardwood and hemlock framing, bolts and other fasteners, stainless steel tray, bottle jack, hardwood to make five 17-inch racks, 5 high-quality press cloths.

For more information: Visit or contact Maria Klemperer-Johnson at