BUSTI - As summer nears its conclusion, the sights and scents of autumn will soon begin to creep into our everyday consciousness.
And no autumn season would be complete in this region without the taste of crisp, clear apple cider.
Bob and Judy Schultz have been operating the Busti Cider Mill and Farm Market for more than 25 years, pressing hundreds of gallons of the sweet liquid each fall. To do so, they use a historic press that dates back more than a century.
Cider is produced using the historic 1890 press at the Busti Cider Mill. The mill will open for public tours beginning Sept. 11.
P-J file photo
The press, built by the Syracuse-based Boomer and Boschert Press Co. in 1890, presses bushel after bushel of ground apples throughout the months of September and October. And the Schultzes invite you to come see how the entire process works, from pounds of red apples to gallons of delicious cider.
''We're still in the process right now of trying to get equipment put back together,'' Mrs. Schultz said. ''We're hoping to start pressing by this weekend.''
Mrs. Schultz said that on Sept. 11, the Cider Mill - located at 1135 Southwestern Drive - will begin opening on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4 for free public tours. Group tours, which are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, will begin Sept. 15 and can be arranged by calling and making an appointment.
''We need to know the group size and so on,'' Mrs. Schultz said. ''And we already have some scheduled, so we have to make sure that we don't overlap.''
The cider season runs from mid-September through December, and custom cider pressing is also available to customers by calling and making an appointment. Anyone who wants their own apples pressed into cider at the mill needs to have at least five bushels with which to work, Mrs. Schultz said.
The farm market outside the Cider Mill is open daily, featuring between 125 and 150 varieties of vegetables that are grown on the Schultzes' 13 acres of land.
''We grow the vegetables by the organic method,'' Mrs. Schultz said. ''The tree fruits, we buy in from growers who we know to use beneficials and as few chemical sprays as possible.''
The Cider Mill and Farm Market also has its own gift shop, from which customers can purchase a wide variety of items including maple syrup, jams, jellies, apple butter, goat milk fudge, cheese and gift items. Of course, this is also where authentic Busti Cider Mill apple cider can be bought and taken home.
Hours of operation of the farm market and gift shop are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. If you can't make it to Busti to get to the farm market, the Schultzes take their vegetables on the road to the Lakewood Farmers Market, Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m.; the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market, Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and the Warren Farmers Market, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
For more information about the Busti Cider Mill and Farm Market, visit its website at www.busticidermill.com or call the Schultzes at 487-0177 or 484-7300.