I realized I haven't said anything about the fun part yet! Our hard cider and sparkling apple wine! We have continued making hard cider and sparkling apple wine all through the COVID pandemic.
There have been lots of set backs. Supply chain issues, to go only service, outdoor only, you name it. We continued selling to go through the pandemic and it allowed us to just keep improving our cider!
Now that everything is open we continually make new and fun ciders that we sell on tap at the Ale and Cider House. We also distribute to select retailers that we feel represent our product correctly!
A lot has has changed since my last update!
I have started a YouTube channel if anyone is interested, I am starting with a Vlog format and it will be similar to what I write on here!
This year we have 5,000 trees to plant. Theses trees were grafted earlier this year. We also have a few thousand plants we let sit in pots from last year so they have been almost 2 years in the pots.
We had a little trouble with the fertilizer last year and I think I burned a lot of the roots on the plants. I used too strong of fertilizer. If you are wondering what fertilizer to use on your plants use the weakest one first and go from there. I made a big mistake, but every mistake is a lesson!
This year we planted a lot of Pink Pearl apples, Sommerset Russet, Sommerset Cluster, Zabergav Reinette, Rein De Reinette, Pound Sweet, Grimes Golden, King David, and few other varieties.
What is cool about the Pink Pearls is that the inside is Red and it will make really cool looking juice! I am very excited to see these producing in the next couple years.
One of the big hurtles we had this year was the very intense heat. The temperature reached up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. These new apple trees were so young a lot of them got roasted but I after this decent rainfall it looks like a lot will still make a comeback!
We started the irrigation construction at the end of June which was a little late plus not everything went according to plan which always happens. We put in about 500 feet of pipe and over 30,000 feet of drip line.
The mice and coyotes kept eating the drip line so we had to change it to the hard plastic polyethylene and attach mini sprinklers to each tree. Now that we are planting 5,000 trees this year we have to add a lot more sprinklers before spring time hits.
There was not enough sunlight in the arena so we built a greenhouse which makes the trees grow very well. It is also a lot easier to water the trees because they are much closer together and more organized.