Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits/ veggies and grains other then just mashing

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:19 pm

Shine0n wrote:I shop vac a few times already, last week my wife left the back door wide open all freaking day and the trash can had about a million it seemed like and I took the vac and went to work. lol

My 3 year old got the biggest kick out of sucking them in but I have no hope of pressing the these apples and will just let them ferment on the pulp because of things happening :crazy:

I guess pressing after fermentation will be ok?

I don't see a problem with pressing after fermenting, I'm actually wondering if it will make much difference.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 am

I'll definitely let you know, my Main concern is funky crap getting in the pulp as I'm scared to open daily to push it down due to all the ruit flies.

Good to know they sleep and I hope they are on the same pattern as my little guy, I'm up at 330 for work and even on my days off 430-5 seems like I've missed part of my day. lol

I was also thinking of putting the juicy pulp in the thumper and using the original 5 gallons to steam with.?.?.?

I don't know anymore, lol
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby yakattack » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:47 am

Instead of punching down the cap, use something to weigh it down so it stays submerged. Then you don't have to worry.

Thumper run will work also for more flavour.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:27 am

I've been going through the same thing with plum this year. Rather than open the bucket I just pick it up and shake it a bit... well maybe sort of a gentle shake/swirl it and figure that will get everything wet or settled.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 am

I stopped by the park yesterday and picked a bucket of apples off the antique tree. I stood in one pace and picked with he picker a short as it gets and never had to move. I think the KDs are ready so I need to find the time to hack down the blackberries around it and get them picked. The KDs are the sweetest apples I've ever seen and found and are low acid so they are perfect for making Iced cider. I don't know how many I can manage to get but hopefully I can get enough to make at least a few gallons of iced cider, it's just so good. I hope over the next week or so I can get some more of the antiques and the other random apples that are still left in the park. Ultimately my goal is 300 Lbs but I can process as little as 100 Lbs with the big equipment if it comes to it, so another 2.5 buckets and I should be there. That can easily be done on my way home one day or perhaps two. If I got really dedicated I could do that 300 Lbs in a week the same way.

This past week I wound up bringing virtually every regular wine bottle I have to work with me and washed them. I still have probably 2 dozen Champagne and 3 dozen beer bottles that are currently not being used but now all I need to do is verify I have 80 corks, sanitize everything and then bottle that plum wine. When that happens it will free up carboys so I can get plum must strained and stored until I can find the time to finish making and running the mixed fruit. One nice addition to the mixed fruit is a gallon of cherry juice I found :D So, it will be plum, blackberry, blueberry and cherry, there might even bit a little grape thrown in the mix.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:30 pm

I'm rather upset tonight :( I stooped by the park this afternoon to check on the KDs which I figured they had to be getting close and I need to hack back the blackberries so I can pick. When I got there I noticed the tree looked kind of odd and there weren't nearly as many apples as I remember earlier this year. That's when I took a closer look and noticed that a large part of the tree and the tree next to it are now missing :esurprised: I've always known this tree was in jeopardy because it hangs out over a road and it seems that sometime in the past month or so someone decided to cut it back considerably which sucks because I really had hopes to get those apples and make iced cider. Now I don't think there will be enough to do much but I picked a couple apples to see how close they are. I'm actually pretty impressed by the sweetness of these apples. They are ready to pick and right at 19 Brix, which my Brix calculator tells me is 1.0785 S.G. which translates to about 10.8% potential. That's about 1% higher than last year which is actually what I was expecting with the dry summer. My plan now is to pick whatever is left some time this week and see if I can get enough juice to do something with, maybe a gallon or two of iced cider or maybe just some apple jelly, I really don't know but they really are special apples.

When I got home I once again started bottling the plum wine. This is from the wine that I started some time last year, I have been trying to recreate a mistake I made 4 or 5 years ago and with the carboy I bottled today I finally nailed it. This is some very special sweet dessert wine but I don't think Mrs. Cranky will be able o drink it anymore so it will probably be put away until we know something for sure or it will be given away but I now have 26 bottles of Sugarplum Fairy, 5 bottles of a less sweet plum wine and the 25 bottles I bottled yesterday or the day before. I still have one more carboy full to bottle but I have run out of corks and the new ones won't be here til Sunday or Monday. So it will have to wait.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Wooday » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:17 am

Apple season has come to a close. All that's left is getting 5 14gal barrels into the cool corner of the basement.

This year was hectic... I didn't take a single gravity reading, and didn't sulfite any of the fresh juice. I had the wife pick up an order from the homebrew store. They gave me powdered SODIUM metabisulfite, not POTASSIUM metabisulfite, and I never did have time to go back and get the right chemical. So all of this year's blends will be a competition between the commercial and wild yeasts.

This year's total:
14 gallons with SF-05
14 Gallons with lalvin "cider yeast"
14 gallons with Nottingham Ale yeast
12 gallons with Red Star Champagne
10 gallons wild ferment.
__________
64 gallons total for the year. Unfortunately, with the hot September here in VT, most of the trees dropped early, before I could get to them.
The upshot is, I had it all crushed and pressed over the course of 8 hours, give or take. Much more efficient than 2015.

20171015_203343.jpg
total


Now I just need to run the cider that's been bulk aging since 2015 to free up some kegs over the next couple weeks. As a cider it's too gamey and "farmhouse"-esque to be an every day drink, but it might be something truly great when it's cleaned up by a 1.5 run.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:44 pm

Good deal Wooday :thumbup: I am interested to see how the different yeasts work out.

As most people know by now my year hasn't exactly been stellar but I am still picking apples as time allows. I stopped yesterday and picked what I could of the KDs which was only half a bucket :( With much effort cutting back blackberries I might be able to get another half bucket. At best this will get me maybe 2 gallons of cider and after freeze concentrating only a gallon of iced apple but it is worth every bit of effort to make happy apple juice :wink:

This morning on my way to work I almost got into an accident and had to slam on the brakes and skid to a stop. Since there were 3 buckets of apples in the back you can probably guess what happened :( Apples went everywhere in the back and I had to spend some more time picking them all back up and putting them back in the buckets. Fortunately no damage was done :)

Currently I think I'm sitting at 31 gallons, hopefully I can still manage to stop and pick some more apples, I'd like at least 10 more gallons of juice but not real sure that will happen. Every time I try to sneak in the time to go picking something happens and I wind up having to do something else. Fortunately the antique is loaded and hangs onto them for a long time. I am also considering stopping and asking if I can pick the apples at a house I drive by, the trees aren't huge but they are LOADED. They look an awful lot like Arkansas blacks to me but I can't really be sure, they are beautiful dark red apples and should be ready to pick. I am guessing there are at least 3 or 4 bucketfuls on these two trees and they would be very easy to pick so it would be worth stopping to see what I could manage.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:38 pm

I stopped at the park on my way home from work again today. I didn't have much time or feel up to fighting with the blackberries to get to the KDs so I just concentrated on the antique. I picked another bucket of them so I now have 4.5 buckets in the back of the truck. Thats almost enough to justify firing up the chopper and big press. Once I got home I finally got all that plum wine bottled.
PLUM WINE 17 OCT 17 #2 - C.jpg

I think I count 88 bottles total. It is actually very good wine :D
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:38 pm

Today I managed to go through the freezer and continue with my mixed fruit. 3 gallons of blueberries, a little more than 2 gallons of blackberries, a gallon of cherry juice, a gallon of red grapes, and a little bit of pomegranate juice. At the bottom of everything was also 2 gallons of plums so those went into the mix too. I've been juicing everything as it thaws and expect to have a full carboy or more of nothing but juice by the time I get all that done. I also added the gallon of blackberry juice that was in the refrigerator, after it thawed :roll: and an additional quart of Blackberry juice that happened to also be frozen in the fridge for who knows how long. It looked and tasted good so it went in the mix. There was another half gallon of old blackberry juice in there but it was moldy so I dumped it out.

As soon as I finish juicing all this fruit all that will be left is to wait for it to ferment then run it. I have 2 weeks off at the end of Nov first of Dec and hope to get everything run through the still at that time.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Bushman » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:57 pm

While traveling through the country side (wine country) of Germany. I found it difficult to see these huge fruit presses, still in good shape, used as planter boxes and table top stands at these wine tasting restaurants. I would have loved to have been able to ship a few of them home.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby raketemensch » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:52 pm

Last year at this time I had a crazy fruit fly infestation.

This year I have open jars of heads sitting around, and they’re all full of rust flies. Pretty much none can be found flying.

Also, last year around this time I was wishing I could harvest something from my new apple trees.

This year I had the same wish, but a) I didn’t let them fruit the first 2 years so they could focus on building roots, and b) I learned the horrors of Cedar Fungus this spring, so I did my research on chemicals for this coming spring.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Bushman wrote:While traveling through the country side (wine country) of Germany. I found it difficult to see these huge fruit presses, still in good shape, used as planter boxes and table top stands at these wine tasting restaurants. I would have loved to have been able to ship a few of them home.

It's a real shame you couldn't do that.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:50 pm

The other day my wife noticed a bucket of apples in the back of my truck and said "You still have a bucket of apples you haven't done anything with."

"No I don't" I said

"Yes you do, I just saw it"

To which I replied, "Actually I have four and a half buckets of apples" and to myself said, and I'm planning on picking more. Of course this led to the usual question of "How many apples do you need?!?!" Which of course led to the usual answer from me of "Enough" and the usual question from her of "How many is enough?!?!" and the usual answer from me of " When there are no more apples on the trees."

You would think after all these years of living with me she would have learned the answers to these questions long ago and not bother asking anymore. I think sometimes her little issue last month has left her with some moments of forgetfulness but since we had the same conversation last year, and the year before, and I'm pretty sure the year before that it must mean she is fully back to normal :lol: .

In truth I would really like about 15 more gallons of juice. which is about 10 buckets of apples and I just don't think that is going to happen. I did stop at the park again yesterday on my way home and pick another 100 apples. That's about 2/3rds of a bucket or about 16 pounds. This really translates to for about every 100 apples I get 1 gallon of juice. So what I really need is 1,500 apples. With this in mind I stopped again after work today and picked another 110 apples before the wind started playing keep away and the rain on my glasses made it too hard to see the apples to pick. There are still plenty of apples left on the tree but really I am just waiting for a clear day to coincide with a weekend for me to do the work and get all of these pressed but it is now the rainy season so I may have to set up the pop up canopy to keep everything out of the rain long enough to get the chopping and pressing done. Fortunately these apples keep very well, the tree also holds onto them very well in spite of the storms we have been having. The other day we had 40 MPH gusts but the tree was still loaded afterwards.

This morning before work I took all the buckets of apples out of the truck, dumped all the water out and put them by the porch where they will stay out of the rain. I guess since they were pretty much full of water I probably don't have to float the worms or even wash them before chopping. I also placed the remaining 4 empty buckets I have in the back of the truck. Hopefully I can continue stopping and picking for the next week or two and fill all of them, that would be the 10 buckets I need.

I was at Safeway the other day and noticed they are having a "stock up" sale and have Safeway apple juice for $1 a half gallon if you buy 8. The only thing that kept me from buying some is I won't buy Chinese apple juice but at only $2 a gallon I really was very tempted to get enough to make giveaway cider out of or perhaps to do a run and see if I change my mind about brandy made from store bought juice lacking something.

In other fruity goodness news, the mixed fruit is fermenting very well. In fact it foamed up so much yesterday that it overflowed the airlock.
MIXED FRUIT 21 OCT 17 #2 - C.jpg

This picture is after I changed it out, I didn't have my camera handy before I changed it but it was full of purple gunk and overflowed onto the outside of the carboy. This is the perfect example of why you need to leave plenty of head space when you ferment fruit.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:55 pm

cranky wrote:The other day my wife noticed a bucket of apples in the back of my truck and said "You still have a bucket of apples you haven't done anything with."

"No I don't" I said

"Yes you do, I just saw it"

To which I replied, "Actually I have four and a half buckets of apples" and to myself said, and I'm planning on picking more. Of course this led to the usual question of "How many apples do you need?!?!" Which of course led to the usual answer from me of "Enough" and the usual question from her of "How many is enough?!?!" and the usual answer from me of " When there are no more apples on the trees."

You would think after all these years of living with me she would have learned the answers to these questions long ago and not bother asking anymore. I think sometimes her little issue last month has left her with some moments of forgetfulness but since we had the same conversation last year, and the year before, and I'm pretty sure the year before that it must mean she is fully back to normal


Sounds like you're both back to normal! :clap:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:25 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
Sounds like you're both back to normal! :clap:

Now that you mention it I guess we both are :ebiggrin:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:01 pm

Another day, another bucket of apples.

Once more I stopped on my way home to pick. This time the weather cooperated and I picked 150 apples, which is a bucket full. I think this makes 6.5 or maybe 7.5 buckets. Not as many as I want but my weekend starts tomorrow and it looks like this may be the only chance of it not raining while I process apples so what I got will have to do.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby yakattack » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:02 am

Time- the one thing there is never enough of eh cranky.
I didn't get to any apples this year. No time on my end either. Been living vicariously through you and the few other members posting about their apple escipades.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:54 pm

yakattack wrote:Time- the one thing there is never enough of eh cranky.

Ain't that the truth! Even today, it's my Friday and I got out of work 20 minutes earlier than usual which should have been enough time to pick 2 buckets of apples. I was going to stop on my way home but needed to get my lottery tickets. So I stopped to get my usual tickets and got stuck behind some guy with some issue and lost the entire 20 minutes before I could get out of there :evil: so I didn't get any more apples today. I think I'm going to try to get the 6.5 buckets I have processed and just see what happens as far as getting anything else. I still have so much else to do I really shouldn't be messing with fruit at all but I just can't help myself.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:34 pm

Well, my weekend came and went and no apples were processed. The only days it decided to turn cloudy and rainy were Wed and Thur so nothing happened. Not that I have much motivation. Today started out cold but dry, towards afternoon it got warmer. I actually got out of work early so I stopped once again and picked another 120 apples. So now I'm only 380 short of getting those 10 buckets full. The bad part is the tree is getting pretty hard to pick now. Most of the lower apples have been picked, whats left is difficult to get with the picker due to the way the branches have grown and that damn strangler vine that I have yet to manage to kill. I'm actually considering a couple courses of action, I have a 6 foot folding ladder in the back of my truck which will get me another 4 feet or so higher to get some of those really nice ones that are just out of reach, or I can throw my 12 Ft extension ladder in the back of the truck and use that to get up to the ones the picker can't get and get many of the ones that are higher using the picker from the ladder. The only thing that has kept me from doing this already is that the tree is in a public park and in plain sight and I don't really care to do those sort of things with an audience. What makes me possibly willing to do it in spite of the audience is that I could potentially get those 380 apples in a very short amount of time. :problem: Decisions, decisions I think I'm going to go put my ladder in the truck and see how I feel about it tomorrow.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby jb-texshine » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:27 pm

Well, it's that time of year for me too... (fruit time)
The trees are loaded down with wild persimmon and first frost is coming tonight. Tomorrow I'll be picking all day. This year I am going to try a bit of persimmon mead along with the brandy and wine.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Yummyrum » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:47 pm

You crack me up Cranky :D
For Christ sake don't fall off the ladder ..... you know we are all about safety here :thumbup:.... and being a public place you need to do a risk assessment and witches hats and barricades with plenty of orange tape .
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:21 am

Yummyrum wrote:You crack me up Cranky :D
For Christ sake don't fall off the ladder ..... you know we are all about safety here :thumbup:.... and being a public place you need to do a risk assessment and witches hats and barricades with plenty of orange tape .

I probably do :lol: I should probably also wear my reflective orange vest that says "Maintenance" on the back :ebiggrin: Maybe I should stop at tha house with the black apples and see if they will let me have those.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:27 am

jb-texshine wrote:Well, it's that time of year for me too... (fruit time)
The trees are loaded down with wild persimmon and first frost is coming tonight. Tomorrow I'll be picking all day. This year I am going to try a bit of persimmon mead along with the brandy and wine.
Jb

That's one thing about persimmons, you have to get them the day after that frost or they're gone, at least with apples I get a long season, although there are some trees I only have a few days to pick it isn't all of them. I want some of those trees, Is there any way I can get you to send me some of those seeds? :D or a sapling?
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby jb-texshine » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:44 am

cranky wrote:
jb-texshine wrote:Well, it's that time of year for me too... (fruit time)
The trees are loaded down with wild persimmon and first frost is coming tonight. Tomorrow I'll be picking all day. This year I am going to try a bit of persimmon mead along with the brandy and wine.
Jb

That's one thing about persimmons, you have to get them the day after that frost or they're gone, at least with apples I get a long season, although there are some trees I only have a few days to pick it isn't all of them. I want some of those trees, Is there any way I can get you to send me some of those seeds? :D or a sapling?

Don't know about a sapling as the animals scatter far and wide but most definitely seeds. No frost this morning though,only hit 34° but I think I'll check them anyway.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby raketemensch » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:12 am

Cranky, bring some orange cones. Set them up a comfortable distance from the truck and no one will even look at you.

This is known as an “SEP Field,” short for “Someone Else’s Problem.”
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:18 pm

Today after work I planned on using my ladder to reach some of those high up apples. Some huge clusters of them are just out of reach with the picker and if I could just get a couple feet higher I could get a whole lot of them. Unfortunately when I got there I found a couple standing in the center of the park having a rather animated discussion and I didn't want to distract them so I just made due with the picker. I still managed to get another 120 apples which puts me well over 8 buckets. By my calculations I only need about 240 more and I will have those 10 buckets I need to reach my goal. I hope to maybe put those ladders to work in the next couple days and get the rest of those apples I need.

A funny thing happened at work today. One of the guys I work with was telling me his wife paid $12 for 5 apples :crazy: He said "I told her, 'are you crazy! Apples are free for the taking! You just have to go pick them! Cranky picks them all the time for free! He has a thousand apples in the back of his truck right now!"

I helped him out and told him where he could find some amazing looking black (actually dark red) apples and said all he had to do was go up and knock on the door and I bet they would let him have all of them. If I work up the nerve to go knock on the door myself I will pick out the best 6 and give them to him for free to take home :ebiggrin:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:31 pm

Today was cloudy and foggy all day. Nobody wants to go to the park on a wet foggy cold Sunday...except me :D So I stopped and broke out the 12 foot extension ladder. I couldn't get to the area with the most apples but I did manage to get to another spot that had some. I only had time to pick 70 more apples but I think this will probably have to do for the year. I now have around 9 buckets of apples.
APPLES 29 OCT 17 #1 - C.jpg

I might still try to stop and ask about picking the blacks if they happen to be home tomorrow or Tuesday and I might see if the 6ft folding ladder can get me another hundred or two at the park but really I'm pretty happy with what I have now. The weather man says Wednesday is going to be the only day of my weekend that will be acceptable for processing them so whatever I get by then will just have to do and that will be the end of my apple season for 2017.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby OtisT » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:00 pm

cranky wrote:.... so whatever I get by then will just have to do and that will be the end of my apple season for 2017.


Cranky, you crack me up. :-) 100 posts of "almost done" or "this will have to do". You really don't finish till the last apple is picked. ;-) Keep on a pickin.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:48 pm

OtisT wrote:
cranky wrote:.... so whatever I get by then will just have to do and that will be the end of my apple season for 2017.


Cranky, you crack me up. :-) 100 posts of "almost done" or "this will have to do". You really don't finish till the last apple is picked. ;-) Keep on a pickin.

No I don't, as long as I can still see apples I just cant stand not picking them :roll:
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