Anybody who's read our posts about our orchard knows we're deeply invested in a more holistic and organic approach to growing cider apples. But earlier this month, we got word that our official certification as an organic orchard by NOFA-NY had gone through. Although we've been growing our apples using organic principles for years, we're happy to have completed the rigorous three-year process to get our orchard officially certified organic.
But we also know (as we hope everyone does) that it's possible to have organic production that's simply substituting organically-derived inputs into what are effectively still conventional agricultural practices. Growing apples while maintaining a complex orchard ecosystem is more complicated, and it's why we're so excited that our custom front-mounted mower is finally operational. Ezra's been hard at work for months cutting, welding, fabricating, and modifying to make a new front-operated mower that's compatible with our tractor. While it may not sound that revolutionary, it makes a huge difference—mowing from the front will mean reduced understory competition (since we can mow closer), fewer lost trees (since we can see a tree before we hit it), and eventually more apples to make their way into our press and your bottle. You can read more about our organic understory management process here.