One of the biggest jobs at our orchard based cidery is planning our annual production. With this year’s unseasonably cool wet weather, we knew we had our work cut out for us sourcing organic apples for another vintage of Lost Orchard Cider, let alone foraging pears for our Old Orchard Perry.
With the abundance of rain in Ontario this spring, pollination and fruit set was a challenge in many orchards. There were so few days that our bees were out flying, it’s a wonder any trees were pollinated. We’ve also found that the older lost orchard and wild trees are biennial croppers (producing a crop every other year), which meant that many of the lost orchards we harvested in 2016, were completely bare this year.
Fortunately each different location has it’s own unique microclimate and wild trees don’t all bloom in the same cycles. Our old grove of wild perry pears produced another bumper crop this year and we’ve discovered all kinds of new wild pear trees (wildings) in the hedgerows around our farm.
We were also able to connect with the owners of a beautiful and rare organic orchard in the Beaver Valley that’s still in its prime. Situated on the Beaver River, it was once a test pilot site for the University of Guelph, where many unique varieties were planted. With the beautiful sunny weather this fall, we were able to harvest a variety of new apples for pressing this year.
So if you loved our 2016 Organic Lost Orchard Cider, you can rest easy knowing it will be back again for 2018. We can't to see what these new apples and orchards will reveal and to share it with you.
Sign up for our farm newsletter here to be the first to hear about our 2017 releases.