From Scion to Cider, part 1

Check out the process it takes to get from one "little twig" all the way to a delicious, cold glass of hand pressed cider on the farm. 

Good soil is where all farming efforts begin. Plowed, raked and amended as necessary, Matt finishes the soil preparation before the roots of new apple trees are set.

Fencing required! In one dark night of the new moon, deer can destroy months' worth of work.

Quick apple tutorial here: Apple seeds, when planted, will not produce their mother variety.  Each seed will grow into a new and different type of apple. To reproduce a variety, like a MacIntosh for example, the grower must cut a small section new wood (called a scion) from the preferred existing tree and graft it onto another apple tree or onto apple root stock. Matt has grafted scions from many rare and fine cider apple varieties onto the heartiest of root stocks, giving them the best chance to flourish in the north country.

Carefully introducing the new apple grafts to the nursery soil.

First summer's growth. Matt planted 225 new trees in Spring 2016 that he grafted onto root stock. All but one flourished! Talent!

Scions can be grafted onto three types of root stocks - dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard. Dwarfs and semi-dwarfs produce fruit sooner, but are short-lived compared to the standard. Our trees are of the standard size and will take about eight years to begin to produce significant crops. These trees, with proper care and husbandry, will be standing and bearing rare fruits for a hundred years or more.

These thriving new apple trees will stay in the nursery for two to three years depending on the growth rate characteristic of each variety. Then they will be planted in the orchard among other apple trees and a variety of companion plants. Our orchards will be poly-cultural mix of fruit trees, berries, and pollinator attractor plants just to name a few. This organic, natural method will give each and every plant its best opportunity to be successful.