A College Mennonite Church Effort at Gleaning from the Abundance of This Year’s Apple Harvest

After Myrna Burkholder attended the Transition Goshen meeting at the Goshen Public Library on August 27, on the topic of taking advantage of abundant fruit, through a notice printed in the Sept. 13th issue of the College Mennonite Church newsletter, she invited members to help minimize the waste of local apples in any of four ways: to offer trees for apple picking; to help pick apples, to offer the use of a cider press, and to help press any collected apples into cider.  Though not stated in this invitation, the plan was to give whatever came of this effort to the food pantry at The Window in Goshen.     

The response was such that one couple, Dave and Rose Widmer, offered their orchard of about six apples trees for picking, and another couple, Al and Mary Bontreger offered to help make whatever was collected into applesauce.  Thus the project changed from the possibility of producing cider to making applesauce.  

So on the evening of Wednesday, September 25, it took Wes and Viola Zook, Al Bontreger, and Myrna Burkholder spent less than an hour at the farm of Dave and Rose Widmer, to pick several bushels of apples. And during the next day on Thursday, September 26, Al and Mary Bontreger began to make the applesauce and were joined in the evening by Becky Horst, Diane Hertzler, and Myrna Burkholder for several more hours of cutting, cooking, and pressing apples.

This total effort thus produced 15 gallons of delicious applesauce which was delivered to The Window on Friday, September 27.  And overall, all who participated were happy to have contributed in a small way to making use of this year’s abundant harvest of apples!