Apple blossoms=apples=Willow Oaks ciders! You can now come out and see where the magic happens. We had a great preview opening weekend and will now be open for tastings every Saturday and Sunday 11-5. We are still building out our farm stand space but we will have jams and beef and plants available for sale. Asparagus is right around the corner too!
Willow Oaks and Millstone cider makers are heading out this weekend to begin replanting the historic Piper Orchard at Antietam Battlefield. The budding partnership with the National Park Service at Antietam looks forward to bloom! Conversations and planning move on to planting the American heritage apple trees that will again grace the slopes of Piper Orchard. Restoring living history, beautiful and delicious!
Our drywall is up and painting is underway! Tick tock.....April will be here before you know it!
The labels are here! This means we will have Pairing available for tasting and sales at the Silver Spring Freshfarm market Saturdays, 9-1!
Sawdust, sheetmetal, pipes, and this week on to electricity! The sounds of hammering and sawing and the sights of work trucks and contractors have been filling our barn. So many things go by so fast but this renovation project has been dragging on so slowly! The Frederick County site plan permit took a year and half, the building permit for the renovations took another two years. We do have the plumbing roughed in and ducts for the HVAC, doors with panic hardware. We also have the giant monument to wasted space...the framing for the escape capsule/exit stairs from the second floor.
Welcome the newest member of Willow Oaks' ciders. "Pairing" is a pear ginger cyser. The first fermentation of our Asian pear juice and a second fermentation with honey and ginger. Pairing has been in the works for some time. We have had this lovely artwork by Linda Harrison-Parsons at the ready for a year. We had to submit a formula for the cyser since it contains not just fruit but "an agricultural product". Then we had to change the description on the label to "pear-ginger-honey-wine". A little more magic by Tracey Tousignaut Reed to fix the layout to the exact requirements of the feds. Yes, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms gets the final say. We look forward to sharing Pairing! Zesty, tangy, gingery goodness worth the wait!
We have had many requests over the years for a list of the kinds of apples we grow. When asked a random cluster come to mind. Maybe not so random, I probably list my favorites. Eric finally sat down and compiled The List:
Traditional American cider apples
French cidre apples