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One of our favorite highlights living here in Rockbridge County, Virginia is the annual cider-squeezin’ party hosted by our friends Steve and Wendy Richards at their Sideway Farm. Early every November they provide the apples, an antique cider press, and a bucolic setting in which to entertain friends for a festive day of cider-squeezin’, pot-luck feastin’, and old-time music.
Prior to the date, Steve coaxes his old Chevy truck across the Blue Ridge Mountains on a quest to Dickie Brothers Orchard in Amherst County—a family farm derived from a land grant by King George in colonial times—where he buys hundreds of pounds of cider apples. Guests bring their jugs to the party, take turns cranking the press, and take home a stash of this delicious old-time beverage. It is hard to imagine a nicer bunch of people or a better time than this. These photos are a selection from the cider parties between 2007 and 2012. We look forward to many more to come.
Dennis Slifer is a writer and photographer with wide-ranging interests. He is the author of eight books about prehistoric rock art in the Southwest, as well as The Caves of Maryland and various environmental reports and magazine articles. In 2007 he retired as an environmental scientist in New Mexico and moved to rural Virginia where he divides his time between writing, homesteading, and traveling. He has produced a memoir plus twelve other books with Blurb since 2011: - Be Careful What You Wish For: The Saga of Sow’s Ear Farm - Ambling Around the Atacama and the Altiplano - Sol y Sombra: Meeting the Shadow - Art on the Rocks: The Best of the Quest - My People Collection - Quay's Tale: A Memoir of Monkey Boy - Critters: A Tribute to Compassion - Sideway Cider Squeezin" - Marking Change: Post-contact Rock Art in the Southwest - Curios: Collecting Eclectic - THIS IS IT!: Strange Signs, Social Oddities, and Antidotes to Boredom - Elder Trucks: America's Love of Old Trucks