We will be closed November 26th for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time with friends and family!! We will reopen Friday at 9 a.m. Stop by and check out our brand new Gingerbread House Kits!Read More
We have a great selection of Heritage apples this week! Black Oxford, Cox's Orange Pippin, Honeycrisp, Egermont Russet, Golden Delicious and more are all fresh and available in the farmstand this week. We are particularly happy with the Black Oxford crop this year. They are a shy, biennial bearer, with alternating years of good crops. This is a good year. We were even able to offer these beauties to our wholesale customers- a first for us! We also have a great supply of local's favorites such as the Cortland, Mcintosh, Red Delicious, and more. For information on apples grown here check out our What's Growing In The Orchard page.
Pick-Your-Own Apples is open everyday from 10am-5pm. We offer free wagon rides on the weekends too! This week we are offering McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious to our You-Pick customers! We plan on having Mcintosh, Cortlands, and Golden Delicious at least through October; and Red Delicious will be open at least 2 weeks depending on availability.
Have you had our pears? We grow both Asian and European Pears here. This week we have several varieties available in the farmstand. Asian Pears are very crisp and juicy with a sweet, honey-like taste. Available Asian Pears include Shinseiki, Shinku, and 20th Century Pears. Thanks to a great article in the Portland Press Herald our Asian Pears are moving fast- make sure you get your taste before they are gone! For those that enjoy a more traditional, European Pear we have Staceyville and Vermont Beauties available. Our Bosc Pears should be available within the next week or so.
Cider is being pressed weekly! We have gallons, half-gallons and pints available in the farmstand! We are also offering hot mulled cider by the cup- the perfect way to end a day of apple picking. If you haven't had our cider, you are missing out. We use only hand-picked apples selected by our orchardist for their taste and texture profiles. We then mix varieties that compliment each other well. Every batch is unique in taste depending on the season. Our cider is also UV treated and unpasteurized.
Make sure to stop in the farmstand this week- even if you up just to pick! We have an abundance of fresh veggies, apples, oils, cider, and more for your table! There is a great selection of dried beans, carrots, potatoes, beets, leeks, and more! We have over a dozen apple varieties available- many you can taste before buying. Make sure to check out the Fiore Oil display too! We have so many flavors! New to us is the Roasted Pumpkin Olive Oil and the Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil. Both are bursting with fall flavor and compliment salads and roasted vegetables very well. All Fiore Oils are available for sample before purchase.
Check out what will be fresh and available this week at the farmstand!Read More
Reducing and spicing apple cider makes a delicious sauce equally good on pancakes or waffles, mixed with seltzer for soda, or topping ice cream.Read More
Q&A with Scott Miller, Pietree Orchardist Extraordinaire
Q: What is the basic process of pressing cider?
A: We use primarily tree picked fruit, which is kept in optimal conditions. The apples are washed, ground-up, and pressed. Once pressed, the cider is run through Ultra Violet light, which prevents bacteria from growing. This treatment does not affect the flavor of the cider and keeps it safe. It is then stored in a cold tank until bottled. After UV treatment, the cider needs to be refrigerated; otherwise it will eventually become fizzy. When refrigerated, it will last for at least two weeks. We do not use preservatives.
It is important to note, we use the ripest fruit available. Green fruit is not used. At it’s ripest, the fruit has the best sugar content and is at the peak of flavor. This time of year (late fall), all of the fruit stored in our cooler is ripe enough for delicious cider. Earlier in the season, more of a selection process is required to ensure the best possible flavor. Early apples are used at the very beginning of the season, and in recent years, first pressings have been incredibly good.
Q: How do you determine the blend of apples to press each week?
A: There is definitely an art to it. Mac apples make a great base. Plain macintosh cider is pretty good. 1-2 weekends a year, we will have just a mac cider. From there, we tweak it, adding different varieties. The flavor is slightly different with each pressing. We go through the available apples each week to choose. Keeping great cider apples aside is part of the thought process all season in the orchard.
Q: Do you have any personal favorite apple varieties to add flavor to the cider?
A: I enjoy Baldwins, Cox’s Orange Pippins, Pinovas…. Adding just a small percentage of any of these will improve the cider’s base flavor. Macouns also make a great cider at certain points in the season.
Q: How many apples are required for a cider pressing?
A: A bushel of apples yields 2.5 gallons of cider. Depending on the cider demand of the week (we typically press on Fridays) we dedicate 3/4 of a day up to a full day for the cider pressing process. A lot of cleaning is involved in this time frame; it is vital for everything to be sanitized.