Once all the juice has been squeezed out, it is jugged and sold as apple cider. Amara Steinkraus manages Littletree Orchards alongside her sister, Athena.
While Littletree Orchards pasteurizes its cider for wholesale, other local farms opt for unpasteurized. At Indian Creek Farm, cider is the second most popular product. Cummins says they do not pasteurize their apple cider because they prefer unpasteurized cider as it is an unadulterated, chemical-free, natural cider.
Because they do not pasteurize their cider, it cannot be sold for wholesale as New York requires cider be pasteurized or treated with UV light to kill bacteria. They were first brought to the festival by Littletree Orchards -- who makes between 7, and 10, doughnuts each year at the festival.
This year, Indian Creek Farm also joined the apple cider doughnut scene. Though there were more doughnuts available this year from both farms and others, the infamous doughnut lines were no shorter. Steinkraus believes the doughnut "craze" was brought on by college students.
Cider Sunday at Cornell University
Though an Apple Harvest Festival tradition, doughnut enthusiasts do not need to wait in a long festival line as apple cider doughnuts are also available at the Ithaca Farmers Market and at each orchard. Tompkins County also serves as a testing ground for apple growing with Cornell Orchards, which was founded in and has 17 acres of apples, grapes and other fruits. Learning how to maintain fruit trees, from pruning and picking to managing diseases, is just one area of research that falls under the teaching program.
The biggest challenges local orchards face is the weather. For orchards like Littletree, the humidity can lead to fungus. Cummins says that weather is also their biggest challenge, but due to their location, it is easily controlled.
Though this is a challenge, Cummins says that the farm is trying to move away from customers mostly coming on weekends. Hours : 10 a. Friday through Sunday.
The Orchards of Ithaca
What they offer : Apple, fruit, vegetable picking. They also have great picnic spots, dried flowers to pick, cider, doughnuts, slushies and other products.
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About Indian Creek Farm, the Home of “Orchard Ambrosia.” | Indian Creek Farm
Directions to Cornell Orchards Ithaca with public transportation The following transit lines have routes that pass near Cornell Orchards. How to get to Cornell Orchards by Bus? From Tompkins Cortland Community College 37 min Vet School is yards away, 10 min walk.