Apple Picking Daily 10-6pm Hours: M-Sun 10-6pm | 425-334-4124



Fall is around the corner and September 18th is arriving quickly! Here at Swans Trail Farm, we cannot wait to open our doors for the amazing Honeycrisp Apple Festival.

Come celebrate the magic of the season with us. This festival is filled to the brim with activities and attractions for all ages. Grab a light jacket, your camera, and your friends and family, and join us for all the Fall fun!
Read on for every last detail you will need to know to prepare for what’s sure to be the best two weekends of the season.

Make sure to keep a lookout for updates to the schedule. As we all know, nature is not always on time, so the date may be changed if the apples aren’t ready. But not to worry, we will always keep you up to date and informed!

Attractions and Activities at the Honeycrisp Apple Festival

We are excited to offer all of your favorite Fall activities and attractions as well as some brand new surprises! Book your tickets to the Honeycrisp Apple Festival to enjoy these many amazing seasonal pastimes.

Get lost in our 3-story hay maze complete with a giant slide at the end!

Wander the 5 acres of apple trees for U-Pick fun. At only $3 per pound, you can take home enough Jonagold and Honeycrisp apples to eat, bake, and even share!

Pick out your favorite pumpkins at our 50-acre pumpkin patch. Whether your perfect pumpkin is cute and little or huge and covered in bumps, we have every possible variety to carve or use to decorate your home. 

Visit our pre-WW2 cider mill for a live demonstration to watch your next batch of fresh apple cider being made.

Tractor pulls and hayrides are old-fashioned fun for the whole family!

Our petting farm is home to the cutest and most well-loved farm animals in the state, and they can’t wait to meet you! Feed them, pet them, and make sure to have your camera ready! 

Here’s More…

The Washington State corn maze spans 12 acres and is an exact model of our beautiful state. Explore the 4.5 miles of “roads”, test your geography, and learn the history of Washington along the way!

Our ducks are fast! Watch them race at our action-packed live duck race! 

Have you ever seen a pig theater? We doubt it! Maybe you’ve heard of the Three Little Pigs, but you’ve probably never seen them act it out themselves and it is not something to be missed!

We even have a brand new zipline course. With FIVE amazing 80ft ziplines, our course accommodates your family because the ziplines aren’t too high, every child and fun-loving adult can enjoy!

You might not believe it, but there’s even MORE! Gem mining, hay hoists, indoor slides, a barnyard sports zone, and jumping pillows are also included in your admission to the festival! 

We are also offering a variety of food stalls with fresh Fall flavors, and our country store will be open for any souvenirs or treats you may want to take home.

Location, Dates, Times, and Prices

We will kick start the season on the weekend of September 18th with the Honeycrisp Apple Festival which lasts two weekends, because well, there are just too many attractions here on the farm to fit into one.

You can find our farm at 7301 Rivershore Rd, Snohomish, WA.

On both Saturday and Sunday, we are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

General admission over the weekend is only $18 per day and children under 3 are FREE!

After you visit us for the Honey Crisp Apple Festival, you’ll most likely want to visit again! With over 15 activities, there is always more to see and do on the Farm, but don’t worry, Swans Trail Farm is happy to be your home away from home for the rest of the season, and we’re open every day for your convenience!

Weekday admissions open after our Fall Festival on September 27th.

Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM for only $13.
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for $18.

How to Book Your Tickets

We’re expecting quite a crowd for this unmissable celebration! Make sure to get your tickets to the festival as soon as possible and get the family ready for a day, or even days, of nonstop entertainment.

It’s never been easier to create a weekend you’ll never forget, just click the link below to gain access to Swans Trail Farms Honey Crisp Apple Festival!

Book Your Tickets Now!

Want to Know More About Swans Trail Farm?

If you’re a Washington visitor, new to the state, or have simply never visited Swans Trail Farm, we’re ready with open doors and open arms to treat you and your loved ones to a taste of the sweet life on our farm.

“Gentle” Ben and Carol Krause have owned and operated the farm since 1984. Alongside their many family members and incredible staff, they work tirelessly to show every visitor just what farm life is all about.

So go ahead, give us a call, visit our website, or just come on by! We can’t wait to meet you.

What Else Does the Farm Offer Aside from the Honeycrisp Apple Festival?

In addition to the fantastic Honeycrisp Apple Festival beginning on September 19th and daily activities and offerings, there is even more to enjoy at the farm!

Our Pumpkin Harvest Festival starts September 25th.

We also have a gorgeous wedding venue, space for large and small company picnics in the spring and summer months, and special field trip activities for kids of all ages.

Whatever you’re planning this Fall, Swans Trail Farm has everything you need!

What Are You Waiting For?

The Honey Crisp Apple Festival is one of a kind and we promise, you won’t want to miss it! Innumerous activities, adventures, old-fashion fun, and memories! They are ready and waiting for you and your loved ones at Swans Trail Farm.

Reserve Your Tickets Now!

 

Halloween is a time when ghosts and goblins rule the night, but at Swan’s Trail Farms it’s also a time for family fun and enjoyment. Every year, thousands of people visit and choose their favorite pumpkin from our patch.

They come together and carve them as a family and set them out on their porch for the world to see. Why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween? Is it just a fun family tradition or is there more to it? We’ll take a look at Jack O’ Lantern’s origins and the traditions surrounding pumpkins on Halloween.

Stingy Jack and the Jack O’Lantern

We can thank the Irish for this Halloween tradition, although it’s a little different than what we know today. According to Irish folklore, Stingy Jack was a man who wasn’t keen on paying for his drinks.

One day, he invited the devil to a local pub to have a few drinks. He convinced the devil to change himself into a coin, so he could use it to buy their drinks. Clever Jack placed the coin into his pocket next to a silver cross, which kept the devil from changing back.

Jack blackmailed the devil asking him to not bother him for a year and the devil could not claim his soul. A year later, the devil came back, but Jack was ready. 

He convinced the devil to climb into a tree and pick some fruit. While the devil was up there, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the tree and trapped the devil. He said he wouldn’t let him down unless the devil promised to not bother him for 10 years.

Eventually, Jack died. He went to heaven, but God didn’t want such an unsavory character there. He went to hell and the devil was still mad at him for all the tricks Jack pulled on him through the years. The devil sent Jack into the night to wander for eternity with only a small piece of coal for light. 

Jack carved out a turnip and placed the piece of coal into it to create a lamp. He still roams the world with his glowing turnip to this day and the people called him Jack of the Lantern. The tradition of placing a light into a pumpkin comes from this tale.

Immigrants used actual burning coals in the original Jack O’Lanterns, but that’s changed to small candles and now to flashlights and electric lights. It’s much safer and gives you more color options. 

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins for Halloween?

With old Stingy Jack roaming the Irish and Scottish countryside, the superstitious people needed a way to keep him and other spirits from entering their home on All Hallows Eve. They started carving scary faces into turnips and placing a piece of coal inside them to scare off Stingy Jack and the other spirits that roamed on Halloween.

This has been a tradition in Europe for centuries, but when the Irish began migrating to America, they brought the tradition with them. Pumpkins were larger and more readily available than turnips, so they carved them and placed a lump of burning coal inside them.

Today, we may not believe in Jack of the Lantern, but that doesn’t mean the tradition didn’t stick. While pumpkin carving today is a family fun activity, we trace its root back to the unfortunate story of Stingy Jack and his unsavory ways.

Halloween and All Hallows Eve

Jack of the Lantern roams the world for eternity, so why do we only carve pumpkins for Halloween and not throughout the year?

In ancient times in Ireland, the Celts celebrated Samhain. This was a festival to celebrate the harvest and the coming of the dark and cold winter. It was the equivalent of the Celtic New Year. 

The Celts didn’t have warm furnaces like we do today or grocery stores where they could buy food. Winter often met starvation and freezing. Many people died during this time and the celts associated death with winter. 

Since it represented death, they believed this time was when the veil between the living and dead was at its thinnest. They were able to walk around and cause trouble with people and the crops. It was also when Celtic priests believed they could best divine the future.

People dressed up in costumes and told each other’s fortunes. Fast forward and few hundred years and Rome conquered the Celts and combined some of the Celtic religious festivals with their own. 

To supplant the traditional Samhain celebration, the Catholic Church moved All Saint’s Day to celebrate the saints and martyrs to Nov. 1 and named Nov. 2 All Souls Day to celebrate the dead.

All Saints Day became known as All Hallows Day and the day before as All Hallows Eve or Halloween. They still believed the veil between the living and the dead was thin during this time, so that’s why they used Jack O’Lanterns to ward off the spirits.

Create Your Own Halloween Traditions at Swan’s Trail Farms

You probably won’t find spirits or ghosts roaming Swan’s Trail Farms, but you will find pumpkins of every shape and size. Moreover, we have a 50-acre pumpkin patch where you can pick the perfect pumpkins to carve and celebrate Halloween.

We also have many different events going on including our corn maze, wagon rides, and more. We also have all kinds of fall decorations available from gourds and corn stalks to hay bales.

Swan’s Trail Farms is about family fun and excitement. We wind down our year with our pumpkin patch and fall decorations, so come out and find out why people consider us one of Washington’s must-see family adventures.

Swan’s Trail Farms Is Open Until Oct 31.

Our pumpkin patch is available for picking from September 26-October 31. Come out and enjoy fresh apple cider, the juiciest apples you’ve ever seen and events and adventures you can’t find anywhere else.

You now know why we carve pumpkins on Halloween, so come out and pick your own. If you want to learn more about what Swan’s Trail Farms has to offer, then please contact us today. We can’t wait to see you. 

Everyone has seen apples in grocery stores, such as honeycrisp, cosmic crisp, ambrosia and jonagold. You may be wondering, where do these apples come from, and which ones are best for picking? In this article, we will be discussing the 4 types of Apples Best for Picking this season and some of their key features. All of these apples will be available for harvest this fall at Swans Trail Farms, so don’t miss out on our u-pick apples!

1. HONEYCRISP

Released in 1991, one of the most popular types of apples are honeycrisp apples. This apple has a yellow background with a red blush on top. The flesh of the apple is a creamy white that is exceptionally crisp.

Honeycrisp apples were originally grown in Minnesota and are also the official state fruit. These apples can actually flourish in both warm and cool climates, so they are grown in other states such as Wisconsin, California and Washington. These apples also have great nutritional value. Containing only about 80 calories, honeycrisp apples are perfect for a lightweight snack and are rich in dietary fiber.

Honeycrisp apple harvesting season is September through May, depending on the region. They are known for their juicy, sweet taste and are typically used for baking. The honeycrisp apple also pairs nicely with cheese or can be placed atop a salad. Due to its sweet taste, many opt to eat the honeycrisp apple on its own. 

Honeycrisp apples are very popular for picking at Swans Trail Farms. More information will be provided below about our u-pick offer and upcoming festivals.

2. COSMIC CRISP

Another popular choice is the comic crisp apple, which has been in development for over 20 years. Similar to the honeycrisp apple, the comic crisp apple is known for its sweet and firm texture. The reason they are called cosmic crisp is because of the white lenticels that cover the skin, which resemble stars against a red sky. These apples are praised for being slow to brown when cut, while still maintaining its delicious flavor and texture.

Comic Crisp is actually trademarked by Washington State University and is available for any Washington state apple grower to produce. The university grows the trees and sells them to growers in the state. Comic crisp apples are harvested until mid-October and shipped out in the beginning of December, so they are ready just in time for the holidays. But what if you want some of these delicious apples before then? Worry not! Millions of comic crisp trees have been planted in the state of Washington so they can be harvested. 

These are also considered some of the best apples for baking. There are many recipes out there, but some of the most popular ones include comic crisp apple relish, apple-cherry pie, spiced burgers, apple lemon agua fresca and center cut apple burgers. Because of their slow browning properties, comic crisp apples are a popular choice for salads. They can be found in many local grocery stores such as Ballard Farmers Market or PCC Community Markets. However, if you’re looking for a more fresh option, head over to Swans Trail Farms!

3. AMBROSIA

Similar to the other types of apples, ambrosia apples also have a crisp texture and a sweet honey-like flavor. Ambrosia apples are more difficult to pick because they require a discerning eye and gentle touch. When picking these, you should look for a full red face and glossy finish. Unlike some of the other types of apples, the ambrosia originated in Canada– British Columbia, to be exact.

Ambrosia apples have been proven to be a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and like the other apples, contain vitamins A and C. These apples last a long time, so they can be found in grocery stores year-round. However, they’re usually in season between September and January. 

Ambrosia apples are harvested around mid-September. Like the cosmic crisp apple, ambrosia apples are great to bake and cook with because they compliment both sweet and savory dishes. Some examples of recipes that can be made with these are baked apples, granola bars, apple cake, scrambled eggs, breakfast bowls and even pizza. There are also a variety of dips that go well with ambrosia apples, like caramel, peanut butter and yogurt, maple cinnamon whipped cream and more. 

4. JONAGOLD

First appearing in New York in 1953, the jonagold apple is a cross between golden delicious and the Jonathon. It tends to be large in size with a tangy-sweet flavor. These apples can be colored differently, with some being a greenish yellow and others being more orange. The flesh of the apple is a creamy yellow color. Jonagold apples actually come in over seventy different strains, each with a slightly different color, size or taste.

Jonagold apples only thrive in colder climates, so they were relatively unsuccessful when first created. However, these delicious apples are available for harvest in the starting early fall in many locations across Washington state due to the cool temperatures. These apples have good nutritional value because they are cholesterol free and offer a small amount of vitamins A and C. They also carry protein and potassium which both come with various health benefits. 

The jonagold apple is known to have a sweet-tart flavor, making it perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. These apples are great for pies, tarts, muffins and cakes, and can even be baked on their own because they taste so good! Their flavor also complements pork, root vegetables or sandwiches. The flavor of this apple goes well with nearly anything.

U-PICK APPLES

If any of these types of apples sound good to you, you’re in luck! At Swans Trail Farms, we offer u-pick apples, meaning you can come to our farm and harvest apples of your choice. Our Honeycrisp Apple Festival will be taking place September 18-19th and September 25-26th this year. We will be offering food, a tasty cider mill, apples, a hay maze, tractor pulls, a petting farm and more! Our u-pick apples will remain open the rest of the season while supplies last. To book a ticket to our farm, visit this link. Happy harvesting! 

When you come to Swans Trail Farms and visit our pumpkin patch for the perfect gourd for your home, you’re likely going to carve it. It’s what most families do and it’s a great bonding activity, but you can do so much more with pumpkins other than carving them.

Instead of just picking a few pumpkins for carving at our 50-acre patch, grab a few more and use them for everything from beauty products to delicious pies. Pumpkins are versatile, sturdy, and look great for fall decorations.

Check out these great pumpkin ideas.

1. Take Your Pumpkins into the Kitchen

If it’s one thing that signals fall, it’s pumpkin spice everything. You can’t walk into a store without being pelted by the smell of pumpkins. You’ll find pumpkins pies and other treats as well. Don’t spend your money on overpriced store-bought pumpkin treats when you can make them at home from scratch.

Pumpkin Pie

The best part of making a pumpkin pie from scratch is scraping out the pumpkin guts. (Have the kids help with this, they’ll love it.) Start by cutting open the pumpkin and removing about 2 pounds of raw pumpkin.

Remove the seeds and place the guts into a saucepan over medium heat with about an inch of water. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for about half an hour then drain and cool. Lastly, mash it with a potato masher.

Grab a pre-made pie crust and a big bowl. Place the pumpkin guts, a can of evaporated milk, 2 eggs, ¾ cup of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ginger, ground nutmeg, and salt into the bowl and use an electric mixer until mixed well.

Pour it into the crust and bake for 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

People love to use the pumpkin guts in recipes, but the seeds are a tasty treat too. We took out the seeds when making the pie, so use these next. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grab a large baking sheet. 

Wash the pulp off the seeds and let them dry on a towel. You don’t want wet seeds, or they turn out soggy. Place the seeds in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper to taste and mix well.

Put the seeds on a single layer on the baking sheet and cook for about 12 minutes. You might want to mix the pumpkin seeds up every five minutes to make sure they cook evenly. Cool and eat. 

2. Fun Things to do With Pumpkins: Make A Bird Feeder

We used up all the pulp and the seeds. You’re now left with the shell. Don’t worry, we have a use for that too.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out any remaining pulp and seeds. Once the inside is clean, fill it with birdseed and hang it from a tree. You can use rope or wires to hand it.

A fresh pumpkin can last a few weeks as a bird feeder. After that, it starts shrinking, smelling, and becoming a home for bugs. While the birds might like all the bugs, it’s not a great-looking feeder for your yard.

3. Clear Your Skin with Pumpkin Face Mask

Every year, thousands of children leave the house in costumes and masks to get candy for Halloween. This pumpkin facemask won’t scare the neighbors, but it might leave you with bright and younger-looking skin.

A pumpkin has lots of vitamins and antioxidants like some of the best face masks on the market. You don’t have to pay $100 an ounce for a pumpkin puree facemask. 

Take out about 3 tablespoons of pumpkin guts and remove any seeds. Place it into a blender until it’s pureed. In a small bowl, add the puree, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, 1 egg, and 3 drops of frankincense essential oils.

Mix everything together and place it on your skin for about 15 minutes. Your skin looks healthier and more vibrant in minutes.

4. Grow Your Own Pumpkin Patch

We love it when you come to our pumpkin patch and pick out your favorite pumpkins, but what if you want to grow them yourself.

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of pumpkin you want to plant. There are many different varieties. They can be small gourds or massive pumpkins. They can be orange, white, or countless other colors.

Once you know the one you want, find the seeds and plant them in the spring. Find an area in your garden that gets full sun and plant them there. You’ll want to add about an inch of water per week to the pumpkin patch. 

Keep an eye on rainfall and apply accordingly. Once the pumpkins begin sprouting, you may notice the leaves looking wilted in the late afternoon. This is caused by the hot sun. The soil does not need more water. If you overwater, then it causes root rot.

It takes a few months for the pumpkins to grow and ripen. You’ll know when they’re ripe when the outer skin becomes hard. You may want to avoid insects by using pesticides, but we suggest otherwise. 

Pumpkin flowers require pollination. You don’t want to kill bees when they’re a necessity for your plant’s survival.

Find Your Perfect Pumpkin at Swans Trail Farms

If you want the perfect pumpkin, then visit Swans Trail Farms from Sept. 26 to Oct. 31. We have 50-acres of pumpkins for you to choose from in our pumpkin patch. You can grab a few pumpkins for carving, a few for cooking, and a few for whatever else you want to try out. ‘

Swans Trail has everything you need to decorate for the fall including various gourds and hay bales. You can have some of our delicious apple cider or enjoy our corn maze. We have many fun activities for families, so stop by.

If you want more information about Swans Trail Farms or more fun things to do with pumpkins, then please contact us today.

 

When people think of farms, they imagine large tractors plowing fields and harvesting massive crops to sell at grocery stores. Swans Trail Farms is more about family fun and adventure than getting crops to the grocery store.

We have a large variety of apples and pumpkins that you can pick from. We use our own apples to create delicious treats that you get while you’re picking apples or pumpkins. Our Washington farm fall activities are second to none, so take time to visit us before we close for the season.

Let us show you all the fun fall activities have to offer you and your Washington family.

Apple Picking in Washington

Is there anything more enjoyable than the taste of a crisp and delicious apple? We have five acres of apple trees filled to the brim with ripe and delectable apples.

Don’t buy apples from grocery stores that are covered in wax just to make them look shiny. Come pick your own at Swans Trail farms and enjoy a family experience. Walk through our trees in the cool fall weather and take pictures as you search for the perfect apples.

Keep them at home to eat or bake them in a pie. There are so many delicious foods you can make from our apples. You don’t even have to bring any bags or containers, we’ve got everything you need.

Washington Pumpkin Picking

Fall is the time of the year when Mother Nature gets ready for winter. The tree leaves turn a golden brown and our 50-acre pumpkin patch is ready for picking. Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year.

You dress up in costumes and carve pumpkins to put on your porch. Come visit our Washington pumpkin patch and find your carving pumpkin. We have them in every shape and size, so no matter what you want to do, we have something for you.

Pumpkin carving is a fun family tradition, but you can do so much with pumpkins. You can make pies or muffins from them and roast up the seeds for a tasty snack. Grab your carving pumpkins and few extras to use for cooking or other fall decorations.

Get Your Fall Decorations at the Country Store

Fall is a beautiful time of year. Our country store has a large variety of fall decorations to choose from as well as food and drink. If decorations aren’t your thing, then consider grabbing a caramel apple or fresh apple cider. 

Who knows what you’ll find for your home or your stomach at our country store? We pride ourselves on providing some of the best decorations and food for our guests.

Take Time to Traverse the Corn Maze

Everyone likes a puzzle, and you can’t get much better than our Washington State Corn Maze. People turned shrubbery and tall bushes into elaborate mazes for centuries. The corn maze trend hit the U.S. in the early 80s.

Cornfields make the perfect maze with their straight narrow rows. We take our time and plan the perfects routes for a mix of fun and safety. You won’t get lost in our corn maze for long, but you’ll love trying all the different paths before finally finding the exit.

If you have small children and don’t want to try the big corn maze, then try our kid’s corn maze. It’s not scary at all, and they’ll love finding the exit with you. Swans Trail Farms is a place for families and children, so we craft our activities for everyone to enjoy.

Pet and Feed Animals at the Petting Farm

No farm is complete without a large stable of animals. While most farms use these animals for food and milk, we prefer ours get petted and fed. People from places like Seattle don’t see farm animals very often. 

Bring your children to Swans Trail Farms and show them the wonders of the animal kingdom as they feed chickens and see all the wonderful animals you find on a farm. 

Plenty of Barnyard Activities for Children and Families

If you’re looking for a place to spend a day having fun without breaking the bank, then check out Swans Trail Farms. We guarantee you won’t see these fun adventures at a standard farm.

Ever tried to pit your strength against a tractor? Our tractor pull lets you and your family grab a rope and go toe-to-toe with a tractor. Who will win?

Our dump truck roller slide is fun for all ages. You’ll see a dump truck bed tipped up with rollers that let children safely slide down. Don’t forget to take pictures as they go down the slide.

Let your children play in the corn box or our 50-foot triple indoor slides. We have jumping pillows and a hay pyramid too. There is so much fun to have at Swans Trail Farms.

Little kids can’t wait to take a ride on the cow train or traverse the hay maze. Ever wonder how heavy a bale of hay actually is? Try out the hay hoist and see if you can get it all the way to the top.

There’s even a barnyard sports zone if you want to try something more physical.

Swans Trail Farms is Your Place Washington Farm Fall Activities

Every year thousands of people visit our farm and have the time of their life. We made a mark when it comes to Washington Farm Fall Activities. We have many activities for people of all ages and come up with new ones every year. Fall is the perfect time to visit us to enjoy a few hours of apple picking or trying your hand at the barnyard sports zone.

When the leaves turn and the fruit gets ripe, it’s time to pack up the family and head out to Swans Trail Farms to find the perfect pumpkin and enjoy fresh apple cider. 

If you want to learn more about what’s going on at Swans Trail Farms, then contact us today

You’ve spent the day outside in the chilly Autumn weather raking the countless leaves that fell from the large oak tree in your front yard. You created the perfect piles only for the dogs to run through them, and you loved every second of it.

You take off your jacket and walk into your kitchen to the smell of fresh apple cider. The cider warms the glass and a part of your soul as you slowly sip the hot liquid. It’s a delicious treat, but few people know about how to make apple cider and its health benefits.

Swans Trail Farms is an expert in apple cider and family fun. We’ll explain the best way to make this hot beverage and why it’s great for you too. 

The History of Apple Cider

Long before we were making fresh apple cider at Swans Trail Farms, locals in England drank something similar. When the Romans invaded, they loved the liquid. When English settlers came to America, they brought seeds from specific varieties of apples just to make cider.

It’s been a staple In America, especially here at Swans Trail Farms, ever since. If you don’t want to purchase our freshly pressed cider and want to make it home, don’t worry, we have you covered.

What Apples Should I Use?

There are so many apple varieties from Honey Crisp to Jonathon. With so many to choose from, which ones do you use for apple cider? The choice is up to you. 

You can choose a single variety or multiple types. If you want a sweeter cider, then use sweeter varieties and the same goes for tartness. Generally, the best apple ciders are made from a mix of sweet, tart, and aromatic varieties. 

Don’t underestimate the power of smell. When you enter a room filled with fresh hot cider, you smell it and it’s heavenly. 

The only caveat to choosing apples is they can not be spoiled anywhere. It’s fine to have a few blemishes but cut out any spoiled areas. Why? They cause the cider to ferment too fast and make a horrible tasting cider. (Trust us, we know.)

Once you choose the apples, wash them, core them, and cut them into quarters or smaller pieces. A bushel of apples creates about 3 gallons of cider. The cider process is about to begin.

Juicing the Apples

Generally, for people making cider at home, it’s best to use glass containers to hold the pressed apple juice. Wash them thoroughly and make sure there is no soap residue on them. 

If you want to make traditional apple cider, then you’ll need a muslin sack or jelly bag. It’s something that holds the pulp, and you can squeeze the juice out. (If you don’t have anything, use an old but clean pillowcase.)

Place the apples into a blender or food chopper and until you have a nice wet pulp. Place the pulp into the juicer bag and squeeze all the juice out into the containers. You have freshly squeezed and unpasteurized apple juice.

Make Sweet Cider

The bottles should be filled to just below the brim and plugged with cotton balls and not a standard cap. The bottles need oxygen to get into it and out. Without a cotton plug, fermentation causes the bottle to explode. For sweeter cider, let the bottles sit for about 3-4 days at around 70 degrees.

Sediment forms and drops to the bottom as fermentation continues. After 3 or 4 days, it’s time to separate the cider from the sediment. Place the end of the long rubber tube into the bottle just above the sediment.

Get out the bottle you want to store the cider in, slowly suck on the other end until you taste liquid and pinch it off. Place the other end into the storage container and fill it with liquid but stop once it hits the sediment.

Storing and Pasteurizing Cider

The cider has live bacteria that makes you sick, so it needs to be pasteurized. All you need to do is pour the cider into a pan and heat it to 165 degrees. You can use a cooking thermometer to know when you reached the right temperature.

If it’s cooked too long, it impacted the taste. Once it’s pasteurized, pour it into a clean and sanitized plastic or glass container. Refrigerate and drink at your leisure. 

Apple Cider and Its Health Benefits

Cider doesn’t just taste great, but it’s good for you too. Do you know about the health benefits of apple cider? Unlike most other drinks, it contains no added sugars only natural ones. It’s also filled with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Apple cider also has polyphenols. You’ve probably heard how apple cider vinegar has many benefits. Apple cider vinegar is just sweet apple cider that’s been fermented longer.

These polyphenols protect against free radicals and decreased cell damage. They’ve also been linked to lowering blood pressure, preventing certain types of cancer, and helping with heart disease and diabetes.

You can’t beat a delicious drink that not only warms you up on a cold day but helps fight off disease. Apple cider takes several days to make, but the end result is a wonderful drink you can enjoy any time.

Swans Trail Farms Has Apple Cider Too

Are you interested in making apple cider? Why not come to Swans Trail Farms and pick your apple cider apples. We have several varieties to choose from and they’re great for everything from apple pies to apple cider.

Don’t want to go through all the trouble of making apple cider from scratch? We have lots of fresh apple cider for you here at Swans Trail Farms. Each bottle is delicious and made from our own stock of apples.

Visit Swans Trail Farms for Fall Fun

Swans Trail Farms isn’t just about apples and apple cider. We’re a family fun destination with lots of activities for all ages including Washington State Corn Maze, pumpkin patch, petting farm, and more.

If you’re interested in picking your own apples or pumpkins or need a fun day out with the kids, then please contact us today.