Jul/07/2013 11:09 AM Filed in: orchard | Hard Cider
The orchard is looking good, with apples sizing up and decent fruit set on Libertys, Freedoms, Northern Spys, and Cortlands. Golden delicious are taking a year off, as they are on a biennial cycle. A handful of the young trees have a few apples, but none are really starting to bear yet. We had a very rainy spring/early summer, so it was difficult to keep clay on the trees while the plum curculio were active. Libertys in particular are very attractive to plum curculio, so we thinned those quite heavily to remove damaged fruit. Jen is still thinning the Freedoms - between rain and other time commitments, it is difficult to fit in the many, many hours needed to hand thin the fruit. At this point, we continue to thin to keep apples from touching, to minimize insect damage on the fruit. It also gives us an opportunity to keep track of late season insect damage, mostly from codling moth.
We are selling our hard cider every other week at the Ashfield Farmer’s Market this summer and fall. We will be at the market next Saturday, July 13, from 9-1 on the Town Common, and have the Hop and Sparkling hard ciders for sale for $12 per 750 mL bottle. We also offer free tastings; there’s nothing like a little hard cider with your coffee and pastry in the morning, right? Right now, the only way you can buy our cider is at the Ashfield Farmer’s Market or by stopping by the farm. This fall, we will sell hard cider here at the farm every weekend when we are open for apple picking. By that time, two more varieties of hard cider will be ready; a Cyser (hard cider and honey fermented together) and a limited offering of our Ice cider. Looking forward to next year, we are all set up to make more hard cider this fall so we can offer it in a few retailers and restaurants locally.