March 25, 2004

New Photos in the Gallery

I added some new photos in our Gallery - pictures of the electric fence going in as well as what I do in my non-farming time - music, photography and electronics.

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March 16, 2004

Cider Tasting in Seattle

We are hosting a small Tasting party this Thursday 18th in Seattle.

Click on the Contact us link or email me if you are interested in attending.

We have seven Ciders and Cysers, one Mead (young - sweet but tasty) and one awesome Barleywine.

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March 08, 2004

Racking Cider

Jen and I spent these last two days in Seattle — some things had been deferred for too long so we had a working weekend.

All was not bad though for it was time to rack our Cider. We are making 50 gallons of Cider, Cyser and Mead — ten five gallon batches trying out various recipes and yeast cultures. These had all been made last fall, fermented and racked. Last evening, we transferred them from the glass carbouy secondary fermenters into five gallon stainless steel kegs.

We (of course) had to take a sample of each as it was siphoning off — there were a lot of differences but there was not a bad one in the bunch and some were really nice. This is without carbonation at cool room temperature (60 F) so it should taste even better when slightly carbonated and chilled.

The Cyser is an Apple Cider that has been fortified with Honey prior to fermentation. This boosts the available sugars (making for a higher alcohol content) as well as adding a delightful layer of complexity to the product. This will be like a good wine - not something to serve from a keg and quaffed but something to be served from a bottle and savored.

I will post some pictures of our kegs in a day or two.

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Crab Apples

Nice article in the Columbian about Crab Apples. The article promotes their use not only as flowering trees for a garden but also gives a good-looking recipe for Crab Apple Butter.

We are planing a few varieties of Crab Apples because they are very good sources of pollen for the rest of our trees. Since the Crab Apples are much smaller than regular eating apples (in fact, any apple less than 2” diameter is considered to be a 'Crab'), the tree compensates by making more of them.

This yields a very large number of flowers come pollination time.

No pollination — no fruit. Pollination good! :-)

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March 04, 2004

Latin text on some of our pages

A few of you have asked about the Latin text that appears in some of the pages linked through the top right of our website.

The text: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit…” is used by typesetters and printers to 'dummy up' a page — to see how a page will look. If you used a collection of random letters and random spacing, it would not look right and the viewer would not be able to get a true idea of the pages appearence. If you used a readable text (portion of a novel or some such), you would start to read it and get distracted.

The solution typesetters came up with in the 1500's and still use today is a collection with a more-or-less normal distribution of letters that mimics actual text but does not distract the reader.

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

( Many thanks and a tip of the hat to the Lipsum website from which I got this information and the Lorem Ipsum text used on our web pages. )

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New link added - Apples and More

I ran into the University of Illinois Extension “Apples and More” website today.

There is a lot of useful information here - some of the links (growers and suppliers) naturally have an Illinois bias to them but the historical information, recipes, identification photos, links, etc… are very good to know about.

I added them to our list of links on the lower right part of this page.
At some point, these links will be expanded and moved to their own page.

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March 01, 2004

Our Apples

This is an update to our earlier message about buying the 200 trees.

Because of our late order (another story I'll write about soon), we were only able to get 22 varieties, not 25. Here they are — note that some are specifically cider apples, some are eating apples, one (Isaac Newton's Tree) is an historical curiosity (the graft was taken from the tree at the house Isaac Newton was living in when he did his work on Gravity) and the Crabs are for pollination as well as cooking and cider juice.

We got 200 trees ordered — enough for about 1.5 acres — and this will form the basis for a ten acre orchard in a few years.

Ashmead's Kernal, Blue Pearmain, Brownsnout, Centenial Crab, Chestnut Crab Apple, Chisel Jersey, Cox's Orange Pippin, Dabinett, Esopus Spitzenburg, Foxwhelp, Honey Crisp, Honeybell, Hyslop Crab Apple, Isaac Newton's Tree, King David, Kingston Black, Knobbed Russet, Michelin, Roxbury Russet, Somerset Redstreak, Spur Winter Banana, Sweet 16 and Yarlington Mill

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Back in town again

Got back in town yesterday evening. Saturday, Jennifer and I went to the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation annual open house on Saturday and took a wonderful two-hour class on Grafting. Bought a Grafting knife.

We ordered 200 trees of about 25 different varieties - from this, we will be able to graft more trees when we expand. Find out what does well in our area and go with them.

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