Spring notes from Steve

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From Steve’s “about to leave, going to talk apples in Virginia” note….

Spring is springing here, and we’re relieved.  We’ve finally had a normal winter and early spring – no terrifying hot spells, especially in March.  The trees are waking up at a gentle pace now, but will get pretty excited over the next few weeks.  We’re still pruning, and will be racing to finish that job by early May – only a few thousand trees to go.  Meanwhile, we’re picking the pruning brush into the middle of the orchard aisles, and using a chainsaw to get the big bits out for firewood.  Soon, we’ll chop the prunings up with a flail mower and send them back to the earth.  With luck, we’ll have some frozen mornings for that job – if not, we’ll be smoothing out the ruts in a month.

Meanwhile, down in the cider room, we’ve just finished blending our first ‘Dooryard Cider’ for bottling.  With luck, it will be ready to go by mid-May.  Our growler and keg customers have had an early taste of Dooryard, and we’ve seen nothing but smiles so far.  We’ve been racking the 2010 crop cider for a couple of weeks, and should be finished with that by early May (racking is the process of taking the clear, newly-fermented cider off its lees, or sediment, and putting it into clean tanks and barrels to mature).  Cool nights, warm days, and good cider are cheering us all up.

SW

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