Around the Farm – Fall Treats

September 25, 2023

Fall is in the air – that means harvest is here, and so are the apple and pumpkin treats!

Have you ever wondered what happens to the rest of the apple after it is pressed to make cider, juice, or wine? We did, too! So, I reached out to our friends and neighbors at Jonamac Orchard in Malta and an idea was born.

Apple Pulp

After all of the juice is pressed from an apple, the pulp remains. This fiber-rich substance still has a sweet apple flavor, so why waste it?

This is a perfect (and delicious) energy source to add to our livestock feed ration. While we’d rather indulge in cider or a donut ourselves, the pigs and cows on our farm look forward to their version of a fall treat!

Each week, we pick up a large tub of apple pulp from Jonamac and haul it back to our farm. Since there is still moisture and sugar in the pulp, it doesn’t store well and needs to be fed to the animals fairly quickly after being pressed. We give half to our pigs and half to the cows. We’re not sure who likes it more!

BONUS: Since we dump it directly onto the grass in our pasture, whatever is leftover (which isn’t much) will biodegrade and add organic matter back into the soil. We’re a little nerdy about soil health around here, so this is exciting stuff to us!

What about pumpkins?

Don’t worry, we have a use for those decorative pumpkins when the seasons change, too!
The cows, goats and sheep will munch on them and help pulverize them into the ground. That’s right – more biodegradable organic matter for the soil! Did you know pumpkin seeds are a natural dewormer for the animals, too?

Enjoy your favorite treats this fall and give a little thought to how much further those apples and pumpkins might go after you enjoy them!