Sunday, August 20, 2006

The "Incider" No. 2 ... Rocky Meadow orchard news.

We'll return to Bob Capshew's orchard revival project from time to time as he draws ever closer to delightful fermentables. Here's an update to remind us of how much work it takes before one can relax on the patio with a glass of perry.


The Incider
August 2006, No. 2

Time for another update on the project to restore the Rocky Meadow orchard to productivity:

Like a summer drizzle, the picking has started. A few varieties have reached their respective ripening dates as this newsletter goes out. Many more, including the larger plantings in the orchard will be ready around Labor Day which should turn the harvest into a downpour. The Chojuro pears are now glowing orange globes. The Korean Giants have surpassed all others in size. Two broken Magness (a superior tasting European pear) limbs yielded ½ bushel of pears! So far no sign of codling moth worms!

The last six weeks have been a time of thinning pears for size and limb handling ability. The poison ivy, wild blackberries, honeysuckle, wild roses and grass have been tamed by the mower and string trimmer.

The crop will have a ready-made home this year. Thanks to Brian Kolb, the walk-in cooler is working again! The walk-in allows the pears to be stored at the proper temperature until their final disposition. The finer pears will be stored in two layer boxes with 40 to 60 individual compartments per box. The second quality pears and those damaged in the harvest will be stored until they are ground and pressed.

The hydraulic motor for the press has been mounted onto a steel frame with casters. Maureen has replaced the canvas chute with cordura nylon. Parts have been ordered to complete the wiring according to electrical code. The press will also be available for pressing grapes if anyone needs it.

Labor Day Weekend
Come out and pick some pears! We plan to be at the orchard all weekend. Stop by for a couple of hours, camp out, or whatever suits your schedule. We’ll have the smoker going, maybe some chili, and any additional food will be welcome. Our camper will also be there. If picking is not your style, you can still help with sorting, grading, etc.

Directions – I-64 west, exit Corydon, go left (north) on 135 for 2.8 miles. Turn left on Sival Road then bear right onto Rocky Meadow Road. Turn right and go 0.8 miles past Apple Valley Greenhouse to 360 Northwest (not Northeast).

Homebrewers’ Offer
As a way of thanking all of you that have helped, I am starting a list to sell barrels of pear cider (perry) and possibly apple cider. If you and your friends would like to reserve a 50 gallon barrel, I will provide the juice, barrel, yeast and storage. You will provide some labor to help press and pay $250 per barrel ($1 per 750 ml bottle). We’ll keep your barrel in the insulated walk-in during the winter. In the spring you may bottle or keg the cider as you wish. If you would like to bottle in 750 ml bottles, I have a contact for a group price. Let me know if you are interested. The availability will be based on the harvest and may lead to the purchase of some second grade apples if demand is sufficient.

What a talented and generous group of friends I have to thank – Jim Isbell (pressure washer), Kevin Richards (angle iron), Dennis Stockslager (mechanical work), Rick Buckman (boxes), Joel Halblieb (crates), Jim Frazier (molding), Leah Dienes (graphic art), Buck & Sarah (freezer), Doug (carpentry), John & Marlene and my wife Maureen (office converted to tasting room).

No comments: