Formerly fields for dairy cattle to roam through, there are about three acres of field that we are planting our cider apple trees on. Using the M9 dwarf tree rootstock, our trees will be growing in rows, much like a winery. This allows for early producing apples, higher yield, and easier picking in the fall.
Cider apples don't need a lot of extra special care other than love and attention. Fertilizers are kept to a minimum as nitrogen deficient apples are better for craft cider. Since our apples are destined for the crusher, apple scab is not a concern.
The trees that we have growing are a variety of sizes, but the majority of our trees are M9 dwarf style trees. They grow faster, and are easier to pick the apples off the trees. We can stand on stable ground instead of a rickety ladder, and if some canker occurs, then it is far easier to replace a dwarf tree than a great big old tree.
Tod Creek Craft Cider's apples are grown following Good Earth practices; we minimize or eliminate our use of chemicals and fertilizers where possible. Our integrated pest management program follows organic and holistic practices, as a few bugs here and there are ok. Live and let live.
We purposely do not aim to achieve ‘organic’ status as it can be an expensive burden on a small cidery, but we love the earth our trees grow on and look after it accordingly.