Xerces Society and Poverty Lane Orchards

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The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.

Recently, the Xerces Society mentioned Steve’s commitment to habitat preservation in their ENews. What a nice reminder that we’re actively protecting bees, and making delicious cider too!  Check it out online — or read what they said about the orchard here:

Names like Hubbardston Nonsuch, Calville Blanc d’Hiver, Ribston Pippin, and Esopus Spitzenberg have fallen from the language of most of America, but not at Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Something of an apple tree museum comprised of heirloom varieties, Poverty Lane is a specialist producer of hard cider. With these and other varieties preserved from medieval Europe and colonial America, Steve Wood one of the orchard’s proprietors is resurrecting the lost art of traditional hard cider production, while helping pollinators at the same time.

Central to the success of Poverty Lane Orchards is an ecological approach to farming that fosters habitat for beneficial insects to help control crop pests, and ongoing experiments to reduce the need for pesticides. Over the past year, Steve has worked with the Xerces Society and the New Hampshire USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to create wildflower meadows along the edges of his orchards. These meadows will provide a home for native bees, supporting an essential step in the process of growing apples and contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment.

Hard cider was the preferred drink of early America. The tree varieties used for cider disappeared from the American landscape on a mass scale beginning in the Temperance era, and never really returned following the repeal of Prohibition. Those varieties, some of which have been cultivated in Europe since Roman times, typically are unattractive for fresh eating, but when pressed and fermented, yield a complex, crisp drink akin to the finest sparkling wines. The result, a stark contrast to the overly-processed, mass-produced hard ciders that most Americans are familiar with, has garnered Poverty Lane’s Farnum Hill Ciders glowing reviews in publications like Wine Enthusiast and The New York Times.

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