Celebrating 200 Years of the Historic Fort Ross Orchard

Fort Ross1383074_232226773603226_180268532_n

Photograph by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

Where & When:

Fort Ross State Historic Park
19005 Coast Hwy
JennerCA 95450

Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (PDT)

Event Details:

In 1814, the Russians at Fort Ross began their orchard by planting a peach tree. They and the ranchers who followed planted trees and harvested fruit from the site for over 150 years, and a number of historic trees still survive today.

In celebration of the historic Fort Ross orchard’s 200th anniversary, Fort Ross Conservancy is hosting a conference on orchards and orchard management. Lectures by experts from the National Park Service and California State Parks will discuss the history of orchards, historic orchard care, and tree preservation. A tour of the Fort Ross orchard will follow, with an opportunity to discuss recent management at the site.

The Fort Ross orchard was planted by the Russians in 1814 and several trees from the mid 1800s are still living, including two Russian-era cherry trees. This conference celebrates the 200th anniversary of the historic orchards at Fort Ross. Conference speakers include:

  • Susan Dolan, Park Cultural Landscapes Program Manager with National Park Service, will provide an overview of the history of orchards, and discuss basic techniques in orchard stabilization,
  • Jan Wooley, Historic Preservationist with California State Parks, will discuss orchards and ongoing work within the California State Parks System,
  • Susan Rudy, Fort Ross Conservancy Advisor and lead orchard volunteer, will describe the history and ongoing care of the Fort Ross orchard,
  • Amigo Bob Cantisano (tentative) will discus the Felix Gillet Historic Orchard Project. This organization identifies, preserves, and propagates the best varieties of fruit and nut trees still thriving in the mining camps, farms, homesteads and towns of the Sierra that were introduced by Felix Gillet, of Nevada City, Calfiornia, in 1871.

Schedule for the Day

  • 10am – 1pm    Lecture/Presentations in the Fort Ross Visitor Center auditorium
  • 1:30-2:30        Lunch at the orchard
  • 2:30-3:30        Historic Fort Ross Orchard tour
  • 4pm                Optional tour of the Fort Ross Historic Compound.

Special event fees apply:

$10 per person for conference and historic orchard tour.
*plus* California State Parks entrance fee of $8 per car when parking at Fort Ross. (Please carpool!)

Optional boxed lunch delivered to the orchard: $15/ person, advanced purchase only.
Or you are welcome to bring your own picnic lunch!

visit-s

For more information on the Fort Ross historic orchard visit the Orchard webpage.

Link: www.fortross.org

Tickets & event details available at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-200-years-of-the-historic-fort-ross-orchard-tickets-10786062403

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Photograph by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

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Photograph by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

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Photograph by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

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Photograph by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

All photos by Paul C. Miller, courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

Map courtesy of Fort Ross Conservancy

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Why do we need so many kinds of apples?

Apples in a crate at Albemarle Cider Works Vintage Virginia Apples

“Why do we need so many kinds of apples?

Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes. If he wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use, running from Early Harvest to Roxbury Russet, he should be accorded the privilege. Some place should be provided where he may obtain trees or scions. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony.”
–Liberty Hyde Bailey, The Apple Tree, p. 68
(New York: Macmillan, 1922)

Celebrating America’s Unique Apple Diversity: Selected Literature

Special Reference Briefs Series

No. SRB 2010-02

Compiled by:
Rebecca Mazur and Katie Winkleblack
National Agricultural Library
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
10301 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
agref@nal.usda.gov
http://www.nal.usda.gov

September 2010
Updated September 2011

“This bibliography is a selected compilation from the rich pool of information resources at the National Agricultural Library about heirloom apples. It consists of a list of books and reports at the Library dating prior to 1928, with the addition of later books which focus on the subject of varieties of apples grown in the American past. It is organized into sections first by date and then in order of the author’s last name.”

Link: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/srb1002.shtml#1754

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Deadline Bean Town. 3 Cider Taste-Off Results. A Report from Outpost Boston.

BostonTasteOff

From Our Boston Outpost:

Some time ago our intrepid Bean Town Cider Correspondent led a cider tasting somewhere in wilds of greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Tasters were a diverse batch –  ranging in age from just-legal whippersnappers, to seasoned imbibers. Of the assembled tasters a select few were cider-philes, most had only a glancing familiarity with our favorite pome fruit beverage, and some were completely cider-unaware, having no idea what to expect from a fermented apple elixir.

Ciders were selected based on local availability.

The Cider Contenders:

Bantam WUNDERKIND of Massachusetts

Fatty Bampkins DRY hailing from Maine

Vermont Cider Co. FARMHOUSE No. 91 

The 3 ciders were presented, glasses filled and the tasters let loose.

Our correspondent placed paper and pen by each cider bottle, and the testers jotted anonymous notes as they tasted.

Real people drinking actual ciders. Here is what they had to say:

Bantam WUNDERKIND Tasting Comments:

“The champagne of ciders!”

“Light, a wee sharp upfront, (illegible), like sparkling wine.”

“Likey!”

“Very sweet”

“Good body, nice aftertaste. A little too sweet.”

“Good with Food/Meal.”

“Sweet & tasty, makes me want a donut.”

“NICE!”

“More like apple juice.  Sweet & crisp but blends well.”

“Good sparkle & flavor. Has mellow apple flavor.”

Fatty Bampkins DRY Tasting Comments:

“faint apple taste”

“Light/Fresh, Refreshing – Not Much Flavor”

“Very Adult. – DRY.”

“Too TARTE”

“slight pickle scent??”

“No me gusta tambien. Very vinegary, not much apple flavor”

Vermont Cider Co. FARMHOUSE No. 91 Tasting Comments:

“sweet apple taste (heart).”

“Like soda-pop. Tastes like apples. (On purpose?)”

“delicious. very sweet. would prefer it to be a little more bubbly!”

“Flat but could be tasty otherwise.”

“Perfect for tweens.”

“Lacks effervescence, a bit sweet, but could be good in a cocktail!”

“Not enough effervescence for me, but the flavor is smooth.”

“Did I just drink alcohol? Pretty sure it was juice.”

The Consensus: Local craft cider Bantam WUNDERKIN is hands down favorite at this informal Boston cider tasting.

The Take Away:

1. We believe there is a cider for everyone.

2. How to find YOUR ciders?  Taste Testing. Extensive Taste Testing.

3. Cider Tasting is More Fun in Groups. Cider knowledge shared while tasting is enjoyable, and informal, casual tastings brings out the best in most ciders, and certainly results in some interesting comments.

4. If you like cider and want to share the cider joy, an informal tasting like this is a good way to introduce your cider-curious friends to the wonderful world of cider.

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Sneak Peek: September 2014: Apples of Uncommon Character by Rowan Jacobsen

9781620402276

Rowan Jacobsen

Apples of Uncommon Character

123 Heirlooms, Modern Classics, & Little-Known Wonders

(Plus 20 Sweet and Savory Recipes)

Bloomsbury, September 2014

Rowan Jacobsen: www.rowanjacobsen.com and @rowanjacobsen

Bloomsbury: www.bloomsbury.com

Photographer Clare Barboza (clarebarboza.com) shares a “visual sneak peek” from Uncommon Apples in her blog post a whole lotta apples.

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Cider Review: Eve’s Cidery BECKHORN HOLLOW DRY CIDER: Cider52

Trained&PrunedAppleTree

Cider: BECKHORN HOLLOW DRY CIDER

Maker: Eve’s Cidery   Origin:  Van Etten, New York

website: www.evescidery.com

ABV: 8%   Bottle: 750 ml

Makers Style/Bottle Notes: “Naturally sparkling cider, fermented in this bottle”.

Fruit: Apple  Cider Maker:  Autumn Stoscheck

Eve's Cidery Beckhorn Hollow Dry

Our Tasting Notes: First glass, drinking at about 52 degrees.

In The Glass:  Clear pale white gold with a small, steady bead that settles to no visible bubble. 

Aroma: Apple peel, marzipan, honey, raw apple, baked apple, grassy, powdered sugar, citrus peel and spice.

Taste: Tart, sweet, slightly spirituous and warming, with stone fruit, dried apricot, and anise & fennel.

Overall Impressions: Refreshing with pleasing tart acidity, balanced by sweet, sour, and subtle bitter notes. Intend to taste this cider again if we can find – it’s a special blend – we discovered ours at Eve’s Cidery’s New York GrowNYC Greenmarket stall at Union Square. This cider is currently not listed on Eve’s Cidery’s website.

BONUS MIXOLOGY TIP: Eve’s Cidery Beckhorn Hollow Dry Cider with a splash of Eden Ice Cider Orleans Bitter is delicious and tremendously refreshing. Makes an easy apéritif or the start of an interesting cocktail.

Orleans Bitter

Watch an informative video about Eve’s Cidery’s orcharding practices: Orcharding with Autumn from Eve’s Cidery on Vimeo.

Eve’s Ciderywww.evescidery.com

Find Eve’s Cidery’s stall at the GrowNYC Union Square Greenmarket www.grownyc.org:  Friday MapSaturday Map.

Eden Ice Ciders: www.edenicecider.com

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33 Mugs Of Cider: Handy Tasting Review Pocket Journals from 33 Books Co.

Our Barstool Review – Cider Tasting On The Go Tool Kit (just add pencil).

Small, graphically pleasing, and easy to use pocket tasting notebooks from 33books.com.

We’re road-testing these handy little pocket tasting review journals: 33 Mugs of Cider & 33 Pieces of Cheese. The 33 Books Co. line currently also includes pocket guides for: Wine, Whiskey, Beer, Hot Sauce, Chocolate, Coffee & Cigars, with several others in the works.

They are indeed “powerful, yet pocket-sized”, eco-friendly, and include a dash of real cider in the printing ink!

Cider-drinkers, tasting rooms, bottle shops & taprooms – do consider this line of tasting journal books from 33books.com.

33_MUGS_CIDER_COVER CIDER_SPREAD

Links:

www.33books.com

Or jump right to the 33 Mugs of Cider

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What We’re Reading: Pomona’s Harvest by H. Frederic Janson

Pomonas Harvest

Pomona’s Harvest: An Illustrated Chronicle of Antiquarian Fruit Literature by H. Frederic Janson, Timber Press, 1996.

From Timber Press:

“An intriguing history of books about fruit from antiquity to the Industrial Revolution, including many beautiful engravings from key works. The relationship of pomology to social history and the history of ideas is explored, and there is a bibliography describing more than 600 fruit-related sources.”

This is an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in early pomological texts, and pomological illustration.

Currently available as a print-on-demand paperback from these online retailers: Amazon.comBarnes & NoblePowell’s.

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Oh, Ithaca! A Very Moist City. 1921.

cropped-observations.jpg

The Cornell Daily Sun

Volume XLII, Number 4, 24 September 1921

MANUFACTURERS OF CIDER TOLD TO GET PERMITS

Federal Inspector Lays Down Law to Makers of the Beverage.

ITHACA VERY MOIST CITY

Official Claims More Liquor Here Than in Other Towns of Same Size.

REGULATIONS ON VINEGAR

Cannot Be Manufactured Without Having Bonds and Taking Legal Steps.

“There Is more liquor in Ithaca than in any other city of its size in New York State, according to a statement made by the federal director,” declared Jay Carpenter when he returned yesterday afternoon from a short trip to Syracuse. Mr. Carpenter, who was accompanied by E. J. Holmes, said that they had received instructions from the “district prohibition agent that neither they nor any other cider manufacturers in Tompkins county would be permitted to make any more cider unless they first obtained a federal permit and then gave a guarantee that the cider would never become sour. The official also informed his visitors that the federal agents have Ithaca in mind for another visit in the near future. It Is understood the interest of the federal enforcement bureau was drawn to Ithaca due to the large sales of hard cider which have been made in this city. Mr. Holmes and Mr. Carpenter, both of whom manufacture clder on an extensive scale, were cited to appear before the federal director in ‘Syracuse on Thursday. They were ‘ Turned that they had no right to manufacture cider without a permit and that if they obtain a permit they must absolutely guarantee that the cider would not turn sour. Mr. Carpenter maintained that, although his cider is pasteurized before it is sold, he cannot guarantee it will not become sour. The federal director informed the Itathacans that they could obtain permission to manufacture vinegar by filing a $2,000 bond and taking other necessary legal steps.

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Windfalls: Found Apple Poems, A Selection.

4a21388vLOC 
 
- – -
 
Api Panache
 
 
(Panachee).
 
Yellowish green,
 
 
round-ish, small,
 
indifferent;
 
 
October to December ;
 
 
more curious than useful.
 
- – -
 
Bedfordshire Foundling
 
 
(Cambridge Pippin). -
 
Yellow, roundish, oblong, large, kitchen,
 
 
first-rate ;  
 
 
November to March ;
 
 
very handsome, large and ex-cellent.
 
 
Bennet.
 
 
Greenish red, ovate,
 
 
middle-sized,
 
 
cider ;
 
 
November to December ;
 
 
a bitter-sweet. 
 
 
 
 
 

The Gardener”s Monthly Volume.

The Apple

It’s Culture, Uses, and History

1847

by George William Johnson & R. Errington

via googlebooks

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Wassail Traditions: The 5 Key Elements.

The Wassailing

Wassail In 5 Easy Steps.

The 5 Key Elements of Orchard Wassail As Outlined by NACM:

“The rite involves five main elements: gathering around an apple tree, singing the Wassailing song, pouring cider over the tree’s roots, loud noises and a toast.”

Rackham-Winter Trees

1 – Gather Around The Apple Tree.

2 – Sing Wassail Song(s) (There are several traditional songs & many variations).

3 – Pour Cider Over The Tree’s Roots (and place cider-toast in branches).

4 – Make Loud Noises (suggested implements: pots, pans, rattles, musicians, fireworks).

5 – TOAST! Salute the orchard, the apple, and the past & future harvest. (With cider, a Wassail bowl, or punch of your own devising).

Whether in the orchard, city, town, or on the farm, we encourage you to take these elements and discover/explore and create a Wassail event of your own.

Mark your calendars now, and start making plans for Wassail 2015.

NACM Wassail information  at cideruk.com

Rackham Lady's Apple

- Not near an orchard? Seek out local parks, or friendly neighbors with pome fruit trees, sites of trees & orchards of yesteryear, or devise a suitable stand-in, an elegant bowl of apples – or a spray crabapple branches, etc.

- As North American Wassailers we will continue to explore local & regional wassail culture and hope to uncover indigenous tunes & rituals, and share our discoveries for 2015.

Note: Repurposing New Year’s Eve noise-makers is a handy & thrifty way to get your Wassail noise-making kit started.

Images from A Dish of Apples by Eden Phillpotts, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1921. View or download at Internet Archive archive.org.

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