By Cindy Bradley, Contributor

Sadie Moore (front) and Mia Paquette (behind) press the apples to make apple cider. Photo by Cindy Bradley

Sadie Moore (front) and Mia Paquette (behind) press the apples to make apple cider. Photo by Cindy Bradley.

Eve Jagger mixes up the batter for Apple Pie Muffins. Photo by Cindy Bradley

Eve Jagger mixes up the batter for Apple Pie Muffins. Photo by Cindy Bradley.

Charlotte Girl Scout Troop 30066 have spent our last few troop meetings learning all about apples as we worked on the requirements to earn our Apple Appreciation Patch. We started by taking a trip to Monkton Ridge Apple Orchard to pick apples. While there we also participated in a discussion with the owner, Ms. Christine, about the process involved in operating an apple orchard, covering topics as simple as bee pollenization, pest control and the impact that wildlife can have on an orchard to the more complex process of how to increase sales, diversify your market and keep an apple orchard sustainable. Some of those apples picked were polished up, bagged and donated, along with a variety of apple recipes gathered by our Cadet Girl Scouts, to the Charlotte Senior Center. Next on our agenda was to make our own apple cider. We were fortunate to be able to borrow a homemade apple press, and the girls each took turns grinding the apples into apple mash and then taking the mash, placing it into a bag and squeezing the juice from it. This, we discovered, is where the term apple “press” comes into play and where the girls found out how very strong they really are. The end result was some very tasty apple cider. Our final activity was to do some baking. We gathered our mixing bowls, our apples and a variety of other ingredients and got busy. We peeled, chopped and sliced those apples into Apple Pies, Apple Pie Bars and Apple Muffins. Yum, doesn’t your mouth water just thinking about the delicious aromas coming from the oven? It was the perfect final activity on a chilly, fall evening.