By Wendy Brown (USAG Wiesbaden)October 27, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - Students at Aukamm Elementary School got a taste of apple juice and Wiesbaden's heritage when they helped produce more than 70 gallons of apple juice at the school Oct. 17.
Students in every grade came outside in groups of about 40 to help Ute Bopp, the school's host nation teacher, and Dietrich Kröger, a member of the local German community, make apple juice using a shredder and an apple press.
This was the third year Kröger has helped students at the school make apple juice. Kröger said he does it each year to help teach American children about the heritage of Wiesbaden.
Most of the apple trees in the Wiesbaden area were planted for the purpose of making apple wine, Kröger said. For that reason, they are not necessarily good eating apples, but are better for apple juice and wine.
Traditionally, people working in the fields of Wiesbaden drank apple wine and apple juice, Kröger said. "That was their normal, standard drink," he said.
First the students washed the apples in two tubs filled with water, and then they used large bowls to drop the apples in a shredder. From there, Kröger transferred the shredded apples to a press, which squeezed the juice out of the apples. Students helped operate the press by turning an arm that pushed down the apples.
Shortly thereafter, the students got a chance to sample the juice, many of them coming back for seconds. "Yummy, yummy, in my tummy!" exclaimed one student.
Students and parents picked apples with Kröger on the Saturday before the event, Bopp said.
Kröger said he and the students and parents picked 450 kilograms, or nearly 1,000 pounds, of apples, but it was unlikely the school would be able to use them all.