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Audubon apple ripeness workshop set for Sept. 22

Those who plan to use their apples for sweet cider, hard cider, wine or preserves can learn how to test for apple ripeness at the Audubon Community Nature Center on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Color is not a reliable measure of an apple’s ripeness, and whether making sweet cider, hard cider, wine or preserves, knowing when apples are actually ripe is essential.

Orchardist Al Yelvington can teach that skill at the Testing for Apple Ripeness Workshop at the Audubon Community Nature Center on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Those attending will learn how to check sugar and starch levels, then take home a brix/gravity refractometer and a bottle of Lugol’s solution iodine.

Fruit to test and gloves will also be available. Bring under-ripe fruit from trees if available.

After 33 years in the Coast Guard, Yelvington started his cider orchard, Happy Dog Farm outside Russell, Pa., to provide juice specifically for hard cider makers. Happy Dog Farm includes a community cider mill that is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Yelvington’s degree from the Virginia Tech Online Masters in Agriculture and Life Sciences (OMALS) focuses on pest and weed management.

The fee for the program is $20 for adults, $15 for Nature Center members, plus a $50 equipment fee. Enrollment is limited and paid reservations are required by Sunday, Sept. 20, by calling 569-2345 during business hours or by going to AudubonCNC.org/Programs and clicking on “Current Schedule.”

Audubon’s COVID-19 safety precautions require face coverings for all visitors ages 3 and up for indoor programs. Face coverings are also required outdoors when visitors cannot maintain six feet of distance between family groups.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.

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