John Bunker in this chat helps to trace the lineage in the US between cider apples and cidermakers. If you ever doubted whether you are on the right track with your cidermaking skills, Have no fear. Not only does John affirm even one’s most basic cidermaking skills, but our basic love of the apple.
When I asked John what he would give himself as a job titled, he thought for a moment and then said, “Friend of Apples.” That friendship is helping apples throughout the US find their rightful place in history as they get identified one apple at a time.
Take a clue from John when tasting your next cider or thinking about fermenting apple juice for the first time, “When it comes to my own cider, I’m just happy if I like it. Cuz it’s a long way till next year. All I want is to like it, I don’t care if you like it. I just want to like it.”
John founded Fedco Trees in Main, is involved with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Out on the Limb Heritage Apple CSA. John is also the author of Not Far From the Tree.
We chat about Fedco’s early history with cider apples. How he met with Steve Wood of Farnum Hill Cider and Farnum Hills contribution to the cider tree nursery. It is a story of cider apple lineage in the US.
John discusses meeting with Steve Wood of Farnum Hill Cider and Terry Maloney of West County Cider.
You will crave a taste of West County Cider’s Redfield Cider after listening to John chat about the history of this apple variety and how Terry Maloney’s himself decided to experiment with the Redfield after a trip to Geneva.
John says, “The Redfield is not an heirloom apple. It originated in 1940 or so. Most of our traditional American varieties are seedlings of unknown parentage.”
What about American cidermakers and what he suspects is happening and will continue to happen? John says, “There are so many [US] cidermakers that don’t know about the English bitter sweets and may never know about them.”
That he considers is a good thing and not something a cidermaker should worry so much about.
Location: 167 Turner Mill Pond Road
Palermo, Maine 04354
Want to hear more about West County Cider?
Notable mentions in this chat, that you might like to follow up on.
Common Ground Fair in Maine, this is sponsored by MOGFA
CiderDays, Massachusetts held the first weekend of November every year. 2015 was its 21st year.
Claude Jolicoeur The New Cider Maker Hand Book
Tom Burford Apple Historian in the US
Just a few of the Apple Varities mention
Harrison Virgina Crab
Redfield click here to see what Fedco offers
- Is a cross between Wolf River and a Russian variety, brought back to the US by a professor for North Dakota named Niels Hanson
Niedzwetzkyana considered a red fleshed apples – inside the apple. Most apples we eat are white fleshed apples.
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