NAPPANEE — The Kuhns Cider & Grist Mill at Amish Acres in Nappanee has been named one of the 10 best cider mills in America.
Travel writer Laura Kath compiled her list in a September feature article posted on ForbesTraveler.com titled “American’s Best Cider Mills.” The list includes unique apple cider mills from Vermont to Kansas to California.
Fall Harvest Days at Amish Acres continues its celebration of autumn weekends through Oct. 27, bringing the excitement of the harvest to the farm with demonstrations of apple butter boiling and cider pressing, kids’ games and free pumpkins with a wagon ride purchase, plus wagon rides to the pumpkin patch on Saturdays and Sundays.
The apple cider mill sits by the county road where almost a century ago neighboring farmers would bring wagon loads of apples to be pressed into sweet cider, collected in wooden kegs and loaded back on the waiting horse drawn wagons. The wooden press, operated by a steam engine, had the capacity to press over 3,000 gallons of cider a day.
The old mill has been restored and now is operating until the frost ends the season. When visitors stroll from the mill to the fire pit, they’ll learn the process and ingredients old-timers used to boil apple butter in the copper kettle.
The orchard is full of the seasonal pecks of apples, bright blooming mums, squash, ornamental gourds, Indian corn and bittersweet. Life-size scarecrows line the lanes and courtyard, many entered in the annual Scarecrow Contest. Visitors will make a brief stop to choose a free souvenir pumpkin when they are on the farm wagon ride. Pin the tail on the donkey, corn cob throw, and marshmallow roasting are also included with the purchase of the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch.
The historic farm hosts educational field trips for school groups. The students learn these nearly forgotten crafts, eat a hearty Little Threshers dinner, and experience live performances of “Anne of Green Gables” in The Round Barn Theatre.
The farm’s log cabin shops are filled with handmade apple treats, locally made apple cider. The Soda and Fudge Shop features caramel apples and pumpkin fudge, among hundreds of other Fall Treats.
A fall lunch menu is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Threshers Dinner buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
More information is available at 800-800-4942 or amishacres.com.