Apples and Cider at the Apple Festival

Although a participant at the beginning, supplying both apple and cider, I have not sold either apples or cider to the firemen for nearly 20 years.
I wish them well and recognize all the hard work that goes into staging such a successful event every year. The VFD plays a vital role in the community and I am humbled to see what the Festival has become since it’s inception. That said if you want my apples and my cider you will have to visit the farm this weekend. Please see the preceding posts for availiblity over this weekend.

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Apple Varieties Availible in the Market this Weekend

First what new apples are in the market this weekend!!!
Northern Spy – This heirloom variety is so large this year I believe you could make a small pie out of each one.

Macoun – If you grew up in New England you know this Apple and have been waiting for it all season. Bonnie the Macouns are ready!!!!! Many of you will remember Bonnie fondly. She graced the sales room for a number of years and always kept me on my toes. The Macouns are her favorite. Ask for a taste when you are at the market.

Melrose – Ohio has a favorite “son” too. This apple a result of a breeding program at Ohio State’s Wooster Experement Station. With parents as diverse as Jonathan x Red Delicious any thing could result. This is one of my favorites for baking. The aroma draws you into the Kitchen. It is hard with a tart like a Jonathan but sweeter however you would never guess Red Delicious was in it’s “family tree”

Spartan – This McIntosh hybrid is in very limited supply this year. Ask for it if you know or want to try this apple. It will be out of sight in the cooler. Before the Gala and HoneyCrisp came along the Spartan was the sweet base in my early cider until the Red and Golden Delicious were ripe enough to use.

Crimson Crisp ***** Five out of five stars for this new variety. This is my third year of offering this variety and as production increases so do the sales. It will keep well into the early winter. This apple is hard and with an intense apple flavor. This is a must try when you walk into the sales room. Shockingly there have been days this week it has out sold the HoneyCrisp.

Red Delicious – there is a reason why so many Red Delicious were once grown. They can be very good if picked and handled properly. Come now and try one at its peak flavor.

A wrap up of the other varieties availible are as follows.
Out for the season
– Zestar
– AutumnCrisp
Going fast likely the last weekend
-Ginger Gold
Still in good supply
McIntosh
Gala
Jonathan
JonaGold
Jonamac
Cortland
Golden Delicious
Empire
HoneyCrisp
Stay Tuned for Next Weekend Maybe but not promising
Staymen
York
Nittany
Winesap

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The “Best Darn Cider has just gotten Better

If you haven’t had a jug of cider this year, come taste the difference UV Treatment ( now the equal to pasteurizing in the eyes of the government regulators) makes in the taste of my cider. I can’t believe it’s not coming right off the press.
The stellar growing season is allowing me to make several varietal (i.e. Single variety) pressings.
I made the Golden Delicious today and it’s never been so sweet, if you have never had a chance to taste this flagship varietal of mine please ask for a sample. With a crop hit by hail 30 years ago I decided to take public what my grandfather and I would steal away from the press for the dinner table. An ample supply would also always end up in the freezer for the rest of the year.
Yes Nancy you can freeze my cider, just remember to remove 10% to allow for freezing and when you thaw it don’t get to excited for a taste. Let the cider thaw completely and give it a good shake because the sweet essence separates and sinks to the bottom as it thaws

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Weekend of Oct 7-8

The weekend for the Apple Festival in Hickory is here again. The Volunter firemen and the community at large have been preparing for a large crowd. Let’s hope the beautiful fall weather holds for two more days and they can dodge the rain that’s coming this weekend .

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Weekend of Sept30 and Oct1

The weekend is approaching quickly, as well as cooler weather to finish ripening some of the mid season varieties.
The first of the JonaGold and Empire are being picked and ready for sale along with the Golden Delicous that were picked earlier in he week.
I’m going to “go out on a limb” and say the Macon will be ready by midweek coming and Red Delicious by next weekend.
The “best darn cider” is being made weekly. I’ve not been able to make extra to freeze as anticipated, although to date I haven’t run out on any given day since the first weekend it was for sale.
I anticipate making several single variety ciders this year so I’ll keep you “posted” when that becomes a reality. The apples for the often asked for “Pure Golden Delicous” and “Late Harvest Jonathan” are set aside and ripening. If they are not needed in the blend they will be available solo in the near future.
An update on the detour mentioned in an eariler post, the signs have not been uncovered yet. Hope to see some of you soon.
Randy Brown
Hours of Operation
Sat/Sun 9 till 5
Monday Closed
Tuesday – Friday: 10 till 6

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Support Real Craft Cider

Before a drop of cider hit the market Saturday Steve Sloan from Roundabout Brewery was adding yeast to ferment a custom blend of “juice” (most of the world calls cider apple juice and hard cider is just cider).
Steve loves cider, possibly even more than some of the fine beer he makes.
Stop in and talk Cider and taste real craft cider made with local apples at his Lawrenceville Microbrewery.
By mid October the cider will be on draft at 49001 Butler Street.
The press of Zestar and GingerGold juice for Steve (Roundabout Brewery) includes my first English and French bittersharps,and bittersweets from the newly planted trees along Route 50.
As the production ramps up in the next two years their impact on the cider both fresh and fermented will be apparent on everyones palate.
Much more in the future on craft cider as I’m get more involved in what feels for me a natural business progression using my knowledge of 40 years growing apples and making cider both fresh and fermented.
I special thanks to my friends and neighbors Paul and Marilyn. Paul loved English Cider so 40 years ago almost to the week we pressed my Grandfathers Wickson crab apples to fill a keg for cider. We drank most of it that winter to Marilyn’s dismay. Thank You for giving me a glimpse of the future that Craft Cider is becoming.
rlb

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CIDER PRESSING SEASON

I hold my breath each year as the press and asundry equipment fires up for action.
The first batch went in the tank with only a couple minor glitches.
If my friend Jack was here I think he’d say once again “That’s best the darn Cider” l’m pleased with it I hope you enjoy it too.
I intend to freeze a small amount in half gallons from each batch. Both to insure continuous supply and also to have available to buy for a short while if a past pressing really appealed to you.
Look and ask for the very limited availability varietal pressings in the freezer taken right off the press and frozen.
Remember to drink cider in moderation, until your digestive system adjusts to the huge increase in pectin in each glass,it can pack a punch.

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EMMA’S (EARLY SEASON) APPLESAUSE MIX IS BACK

Look for the custom mix in the market or ask the staff to put it together for you.

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The HoneyCrisp are Ripe

I am picking HoneyCrisp and they are available in the Market. The cool weather delivered a crop of stellar HoneyCrisp they are truly “eye candy” to see and sweeter than you remember.
NEW VARITIES of apples ripe and picked this weekend Sept 15-17 are as follows
HoneyCrisp
Cortland
Jonamac
Also still available in the market
Gala
Autumn Crisp
MacIntosh
Early Fuji
Zestar
GingerGold
SummerRambo-reduced with a limited supply
PaulaRed-reduced with a limited supply
PEARS
Bartlett Pears – red and yellow
Asian – Housi

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Bridge replacement on the Southview Road

For all of our customers that follow google maps or just like to come to the farm “the back way” through the three railroad trestles and the little town of Southview. If you have never been over the “THE HUMP BRIDGE” experience it while you still can because the detour signs are up but still covered on both ends of the Southview Road.
The Southview Road detour coming from the East (at the RT50 railroad crossing) is actually the best way to reach the farm. Continue west on R50approximately 2.7 miles turn right down the western side of the Southview Road loop. The market is at the bottom of the steep hill.
Rule of thumb
FROM THE EAST on RT50; If you haven’t driven up a very steep grade and seen the apple trees at the top of the hill you have not gone far enough.
FROM THE WEST on RT50; If you you see the “MAIL POUCH BARN” and then the new planting of apple trees you have missed the turn
I will post if and when the construction starts.

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