In spring of 2016, our first orchard was established on 5 acres at Common Gardens in the town of Dane, WI.
Lines were surveyed, mini swales were plowed, and companions were established on the north facing slope. In the fall of 2016, over 200 grafted trees were planted covering about 1 acre. Varieties include a wide range of English, French and American cider types on Malling 111 and Geneva 890 rootstock.
The 5 acres were previously cropped in rotation. We have and will continue to manage the land under USDA Organic management practices with the intention of certifying the land in 2018.
Over the next 2 years, we will continue to plant more cider variety trees and diversify the flora alongside with herbs, covers, and flowers creating a rich ecological diversity for healthy and resilient fruit tree growth!
A good cider starts with good apples. We are committed to organic practices. Apples don’t need to look like perfect gems, and they certainly don’t need to for cider-making! Organic management takes into consideration the soil health, pollinator health, water cycle, nutrient cycle, and labor practices to foster fruits full of nutrients, sugars, acid, and tannins for this season and decades to come.
Our orchard is full of plants that attract beneficial pollinators critical for fruit production and also habit for predators and competitors of apple tree pests.
Compost fortifies young trees with nitrogen for healthy fruit production and growth.
Comfrey suppresses weeds at the tree’s base, so we don’t need to spray herbicide or mow back habitat. It taps calcium from deep in the soil and re-distributes it to the top (as we cut back the leaves) providing our young trees with a critical nutrient for growth.
Chives provide an immunity boost acting as a natural fungicide. Its early and re-occurring flowers provide critical spring pollen for insects.
Our Partner Orchards
We couldn’t go it alone. While our trees are on their way to fruiting, we have developed relationships with other growers using organic practices, whether certified or transitioning.
Ecker’s Apples – Trempeleau, WI
Future Fruit – Spring Green, WI
Cattlena Ranch – Omro, WI
Whitefeather Organics – Custer, WI
We are committed to offering orchards a fair price and a mutually beneficial relationship. The US cider industry is booming and in desperate need of more apples, but we don’t want just any apples from anywhere.
We are seeking relationships with apple growers who are committed to growing apples in a way that care of for the land in the long term as well as the people partaking in its fruit. If you are interested in learning more about a potential relationship, please email or call us.