A Day at the Orchard: Apple Paradise

Apple Pardise

There is a saying in many English speaking countries that summed up my weekend apple picking experience. That saying is “like a kid in a candy store”. This year, I have been searching southern Arizona for new and unique apples. It has taken me to several new orchards and so far, I have found 6 … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Apple Paradise

A Day at the Orchard: Old Apple Trees Never Die

Old Apple Tree

It’s a sad day when an apple or pear tree dies. I visited Angle Orchard just outside of Safford, Arizona, recently and was introduced to one of the matriarchs of the original orchard that was planted in 1922. She is an Arkansas Black apple tree. An heirloom apple variety of the south that dates back … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Old Apple Trees Never Die

A Day at the Orchard: Orchard Diversity

Orchard Diversity

If I asked you to close your eyes and picture an apple orchard, what would come to mind? Would it look something like this picture? Would it have rows of trees in straight lines? Maybe the trees would be even bigger. It’s interesting how our reference is based on what’s around us. South Somerset Orchard … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Orchard Diversity

A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

Exploring New Apple Varieties

I love apples but since I love hard cider, that probably doesn’t surprise many people. However, two of my favorite things in life are finding new hard ciders and new apples that I have never tried. For 2020, I have been exploring some new orchards and that means new apples and ultimately, it will mean … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

Earigold: Sauce, Butter, and Cider

Earligold: Sauce, Butter, Juice

How many apples fit in a 5 gallon (19L) bucket? About 20 pounds (9kg). What about my totes? About 45 pounds (20.5kg) if you don’t heap them too high. I’ve filled them so many times, I don’t even really need to weigh them anymore. I can just tell by looking at them. We picked two … Continue reading Earigold: Sauce, Butter, and Cider

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

It might have been a touch early but I was itching to get to the orchard and pick some apples. Here in Arizona, we tend to get our first apples in late July. These are usually a small variety called Earligold. They are a green apple and turns gold as it ripens. The problem is … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

Grafting: Lessons Learned

Grafting Lessons

Whether you are making your first hard cider or grafting your first scion to a rootstock, everyone who has done it hundreds or even thousands of times had their first attempt at some point. Maybe that attempt resulted in a great outcome but my guess is that nobody, success or failure, is using the same … Continue reading Grafting: Lessons Learned

Hard Cider: Think Local

In the US, there is a small but growing trend called Farm-to-Table. It could also be called eat local or know your farmer. Personally, it speaks to me, and the way it speaks the loudest is through the hard cider that I make. My wife and I love to cook and try new foods and … Continue reading Hard Cider: Think Local

How old is that apple tree?

Apple Tree Age

It seems like a simple question: How old is your apple tree? Maybe, you planted the tree a couple years ago. Maybe, your dad planted it when you were a kid. Maybe you wouldn’t know without cutting down the tree and counting the rings. Please don’t do that! I’m just speaking hypothetically. But, my question … Continue reading How old is that apple tree?

The Vintage of Hard Cider

The Vintage of Cider

Do hard ciders have vintages? Regardless of whether you are legally allowed to define a vintage, like wine, on a bottle of hard cider, my question is really about what impact the “vintage” or year the apple was grown has on a hard cider. If you are using juice from the store, vintage becomes irrelevant … Continue reading The Vintage of Hard Cider