August Orchard Update
The Calm Before Storm
The crews have been working all summer keeping the orchards clean of pests, summer pruning to get as much sun on the apples as possible, building new harvest bins, weeding, mowing, repairing equipment, etc. The growing season has been quite good for apples along Lake Ontario with plenty of precipitation, sun, and warm temperatures. While the crop may be a bit light this year, especially for some of the varieties we prefer for cider, the quality should be high. Harvest in the area will begin the week before Labor Day with the picking of Gingergolds, a fresh eating apple (not used in any of our ciders.) Harvest lasts for approximately two months and culminates with one of our favorite American cider varieties, Golden Russet, in the first week of November. It is an incredibly busy time of year! It’s a bit of a whirlwind getting 300 bins of apples a day out of the orchard and delivered to storage, the packing house, or the press. But for now, we’ll just have to take a few deep breaths, and cross our fingers that the crop will yield great cider.
At City Orchard, we’ve been making final preparations for what to do with all these apples that are coming! How much of what do we want? It’s a very hard question to answer these days, as we’re still in start-up mode, and planning how much of what product you all want to consume is a tricky endeavor. Fortunately, this year we have a bit more flexibility with our operations as we’ve commissioned a new apple cold storage right in the heart of the orchards. This new facility will also double as the home of our apple pressing operations. We are grateful to have roots in apple country which allow us to bring you orchard-based cider at an urban cidery located in Houston, TX.
– See you at harvest! Matt.
Enjoy some pictures from our orchard upstate in North Rose, New York.
This guy thinks it’s spring!
Harvest bins getting prepped for harvest. Each one holds approximately 20 bushels or 840 lbs of apples.
An experimental apple we are growing with red flesh. The anthocyanins that cause the deep red color are also found in beets. We might just have enough of these this year to make a red cider from just apples.
A couple of new Ospreys in the old Elm Tree.
Golden Russets in Block 50. One of our favorite cider apples because of its high brix, high acid, and rich aromatics.
Block 50, where many of our cider-specific apple varieties live.