Friday, January 11, 2019

Year End Review (Final Installment)

I'm taking a little side trip from the year in review this morning but it circles back to the topic at hand.
Farmer Arthur looks forward to working on various projects in this old house during the off season. This winter, he's completing work on storage spaces in the attic. It has necessitated removing boxes of records and photos and it's my job to look through the boxes, discard unneeded papers and consolidate.
In the previous post, I mentioned our old friend, the Garden Way cider press. So what did I find in that box I went through yesterday? The original file folder with all the purchase paperwork, instructions for assembling the press and such. Then, in an envelope of old pictures was this.

Our two children with their beloved Auntie Snip who grew up on this farm.
Photo was taken in November 1986.
.... and now back to 2018.

... and here it is - or perhaps I should say here it was!

We were pleased with the first pressing of cider that could be sold to the public. Washing, grinding and pressing the apples at the cidery in New York was efficient and by running the product through an UV filter there before bottling, we could be assured that harmful bacteria that may have found its way into the process would be destroyed without affecting the fresh taste of the juice.
Fresh cider that has no preservatives added has a short shelf life, even under optimal temperature conditions. The natural fermentation process begins and lends a bubbly nature to the cider. Some folks appreciate that fizziness and the accompanying tartness.
In our second (and final) pressing just before Thanksgiving, we offered our customers the opportunity place orders in advance so we could deliver the product directly after pressing. In addition, cider was delivered to Schoolhouse Natural Foods near Eldred and Costa's Shursave Food Shop.

Will we make cider an integral part of 2019? That is a question to be answered in coming weeks and months. Once the costs of production are calculated, we will know more whether cider is a good fit for us.

Cider making was the final big event at the farm for 2018. Our inspection for USDA Organic Certification was completed in early November with no deficiencies to be addressed. We appreciate working with our inspector, Alvie Fourness, and the other folks at PCO (Pennsylvania Certified Organic). And just the other day, the paperwork that needs to be completed for the 2019 Organic Systems Plan arrived in the email inbox ... and the invoice followed shortly thereafter. Welcome to the new year!

1 comment:

Alvie Fourness, IOIA Organic Inspector said...

Thanks for mentioning the important work that organic inspectors do as part of the organic program. Inspectors come on-site at the certified organic farms annually to verify organic practices for certification bodies, such as PCO. My own highlight is that I mentored two new inspectors in 2018, passing the baton so to say. Organic has a bright future, and has taken roots here in Potter County. If any of your readers are interested in learning more about the inspectors, can visit