Week 22, Orchard Cider Year

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OCY22 OutJune 1, OUTDOORS:  First of all, remember last week’s Dabinett blossom, bee tributes, etc? Here’s one Dab cluster one week later: that’s some pollination! Round the edges, a mini-glance into the immense complexities of integrated pest management, which just won’t fit this format. Basically, certain winged bugs need watching this time of year. Apple Blotch Leaf Miners, if they arrive in force, planning to hatch new miners inside our leaves, will show up on sticky red cards set two feet from the ground. Happily Luke found not even one.  European Apple Sawfly is similarly drawn to sticky white cards six feet up – happily again, Luke found just one on one trap, none on most. Plum Curculio pick up a scent that apples suddenly exude at 6-8 mm diameter. One sniff and curculio make teeny smile-shaped cuts into tiny fruits, then lay eggs inside. Happily 3x, no curc scars today!

OCY22 InsideJune 1 INDOORS: So as the new apples swell, last year’s cider crop starts the final big moves toward the bottling line. Weeks of tasting and blending begin now.  Blending means moving fermentation batches into new combinations with others. Moving cider requires cleaning tanks. Cidermakers with plenty of room can leave their tanks in place, but we have to move everything around before every stage of production. Under construction is a new Farnum Hill cider barn where we hope to put way less mileage on the forklift. But today, Wanda’s moving cube tanks, Nicole is strategizing, and Brenda’s changing the monthly cider signout sheets to June 2016 – every drop that goes out must be recorded and accounted for, so we can accurately pay the wine excise tax (likely $0 this month, but still…)  Pruning looks boring?   Try regulatory and tax compliance for farms and wineries!  Brenda’s ducking the camera and Wanda’s invisible, but everyone’s hopping in here.  (For a quick cider-making video, click.)        LDS

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