Two Natural Cidermakers Share Their Approach to Sustainable Orcharding

Cider Makers Working Apple Press

The welcome note to MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader below is written by Nicole Blum and Jonathan Carr, followed by a brief word on sustainable orcharding by Jonathan Carr.

Hello MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers! We’d like to introduce ourselves, tell you what we do, what we are thinking about, and how we do it. We have been farming since the late 1990s, starting this life together running a tiny market garden on family land in Ireland, serving the upscale Dublin market.

After moving back to the United States in 2001, we were fortunate to find an affordable, but overgrown orchard, in Western Massachusetts, where we have spent many a year clearing land, building our house and barns, rehabilitating fields, planting apple trees, pressing apple cider, and envisioning what makes ecological sense for this beautiful hillside.

We have been supporting ourselves running a modestly successful farm business for the past nine years, selling our natural hard cider and traditional cider-based products at farmers markets, at wholesale, and online. We are business people of sorts, which is strange to us, but which has given us a real world tutorial on the economics of food. And now, 16 years in, we are taking stock.

Sharing the Business of Natural Cidermaking with You

This space will serve as a reflecting pool for us to share our past successes and stumbles out in the orchard and back in the kitchen, but it’s also going to be a living lab to dig deeply into appropriate farming and orcharding practices in light of climate challenges.

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