WE ARE OPEN!!!

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It has taken years to get to this place (like since 2014 when we first starting seriously talking about it!), but we are so happy that our tasting room is finally open. We are going to be open for the weekends until the full season starts & then we will add extra days as needed. We’ve been open for a few weekends and are overwhelmed with the love from everyone —> from those who have come in by chance (were driving & did a u-turn to come and see us), as well as friends and acquaintances we have made over our last three years in Prince Edward County.

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For now, we are super crazy busy trying to get our 2018 blends bottled & labelled, as well as planting our next batch of cider apple trees into the orchard. We would love to see you for a tasting or a glass of our 2017 blends (Farmhouse, Golden Russet & Pommeau). We also do cider cocktails, which vary each week (because who doesn’t love a good bubbly cocktail!).

Give us a shout if you’re in the neighbourhood!

Attn: Apple Scrumpers - it's scrumping season!

The  almost  complete barn and tasting room

The almost complete barn and tasting room

As I write this, I don’t know where the summer has gone. It’s now the middle of October and we are in the middle of apple season in the County. Our summer has been extremely busy - work in the orchard, bottling the 2017 cider, getting our license, working on design & with the contractor getting our production & tasting room space finished. It should be finished this week & we are so excited to move out of our tiny workshop and have some space to move around before apple pressing starts for this harvest.

Which brings me onto my main thought - we are still looking for wild apples and pears to make a batch of PEC cider with unique PEC fruit. I would love to craft a beverage from fruit that can only be found in this amazing County. If we find some awesome tannic but sweet wild apples, we can graft them onto rootstock and keep them going in our orchard (if you find that amazing apple, you can even help choose the name!!!)

Let’s see what we can make with the fruit no one wants to each in the hedgerows and lawns of the area. I know that the fruit load on many of the wild trees is light this year (a hard frost last winter? biennial trees? poor pollination? so many reasons why!). Some of the early apples have dropped, but it is the ones that are ripe now that we are really interested in as they tend to be more flavourful. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • We will pay you by the bushel to bring us your unsprayed/uncultivated apples (no pesticides/insecticides). $20 / bushel of apples or pears; $30 / bushel if they are quarter sized or smaller.

  • An apple can have a cut or bruise, but absolutely no rots allowed - one bad apple can turn an entire bushel.

  • We must have a photograph of the tree (you can email it to settlerscider@gmail.com)

  • You will also need to sign an invoice with the tree location indicated (licensing reasons - I will have an invoice book here).

  • You can measure the volume of your apples in bushels at the cidery & we can decant from your containers into our bins once measured.

A half bushel basket - about 3/4 full

A half bushel basket - about 3/4 full

We will accept apples at our farm at 890 Danforth Rd, starting on Sunday, October 14th until Friday, October 26th. Please email to arrange a time to drop off the apples. If you have apple trees but don’t have the inclination or facility to pick the apples, please get in touch.

Please make sure you get the landowners permission to pick any apples you see :) Be safe while picking - easiest way to pick a seedling tree is to get some tarps, lay them down on the ground and use something to shake the branches (broom pole, etc). Any ripe apples will fall easily onto the tarp. Watch your head when shaking!

Wanted: Wild Apples

Waaay back (maybe not so long ago, but we've come a long way since!), in our first summer in the County (2016), we were on a family bike ride on the amazing Millennium Trail near Wellington & noticed all the wild apple trees. An idea blossomed - we hadn't yet found land for our orchard & didn't have the space or equipment to press apples on a bin (i.e. commercial) scale as apple bins are about 800lbs of apples. We foraged these apples - stuffing them into the pannier sacks on the bikes and brought them back to the garage of our rented house. We set our sights a bit larger and got apples from a local church and the hospital car park (asking permission, of course!)

We set ourselves to press & ferment these apples on a small scale. We made mistakes (a carboy was lost to the infamous 'white film) and underestimated the cleaning time (ugh). These ciders came through for us - it had been a long hot summer & the apples were concentrated in sugar and flavour. We had tannins from the crab mixes and complexity from all the varieties of apples put into the mix. 

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Wild apples are usually grown from seeds. Both seeds that are deposited by wildlife (birds/deer eating apples) as well as (in areas where people have been for a while like Prince Edward County) apple cores being thrown out of car and train windows (aka Road Apples). When an apple is grown from seed, it is not true to it's parent apple; it's a mix of the apple you've eaten + the apple pollen that fertilized the bloom. Every single time it might be different (mind blown with the possibilities). Which is why the apples can be amazing for cider - they are often a mix of eating & crab apples. The best are the 'spitters', the ones that dry your mouth out & which you wouldn't want to eat raw. 

Looking forward to Fall 2018 - we want to repeat this trial batch on a larger scale & we need help. We want to fill at least a bin with a mix of local, wild apples. We need the community's help to do it - bring us your wild (uncultivated) apples. You will be rewarded for your efforts - pricing per bushel to be set based on apple size (the smaller apples, the more valuable- we know they take longer to fill the bushel!).

Details: You must have permission of the landowner to pick any apples. We will need a photo of the tree and location where the apples were sourced. We will also need (for licensing reasons) you to sign to say they are 100% Ontario apples. If you know of wild apples that are available to be picked but are unable to do it yourself, please let us know & we will come and get them. Email settlerscider@gmail.com and we can send you suggestions on how to pick the large trees & what to look for to determine ripeness.

More information to follow soon, but look out for the blooms in the Spring/Summer as it's the best time to scout your trees!