The Old Trees
When we acquired the farm in 2001, we started discovering apple trees all around the farm...a few in front of the barn, a few more east of the house and then 28 tress in an old orchard in the back west corner! They had been neglected for decades and in 2010, we decided to start pruning and caring for these old trees. Most we were able to save, others were in such bad shape they would just fall over but we were determined to get as many of them as we could back in shape and bearing fruit. Today, these trees form the base from which our brandies are made.
The New Trees
Once we started harvesting apples from our old trees it became very clear to us that we were going to need more fruit as the distillery grew. So, in 2015 we started planting a new orchard. By 2019 we had 325 trees representing 24 different cider apple varieties on a few different root stocks. We've certainly learned a lot over these past few years caring for these young trees. Unlike the old trees who grow with vigor year in and year out, these newly planted trees need A LOT of attention! Farming holistically means feeding them with compost from the animals and gardens, pheromone trapping harmful insects, putting up bat houses and barn owl boxes and speaking words of encouragement to them daily.