Cider has been made on our family owned farm in Flushing, Michigan for well over a hundred years. It was first pressed back in the 1850’s and not much has changed in the process since then. We use the same apples from the same orchards that Jim’s great-great grandfather did before the time of the Civil War. We are proud of that. It gives us a sense of history.
Cider has played an important role in the ongoing history of our farm. The sale of cider actually saved the farm during the Great Depression. During Prohibition, people came from far and wide for our “Special Farm Cider.”
We grow fruits and vegetables here at the orchard too, but our cider has kept us in business when times have gotten tough. Regretfully, it seems that history has a habit of repeating itself. These past few years, many of our nation’s orchards have closed their barn doors and orchard gateways as the influx of apple juice made from cheap concentrates arrive in the USA from China and South America. Some call it just a sign of the times, and others seem to appreciate the bargain at the grocery store.
All we can say is that our ciders are the real thing. They’re not a “made using” or “contains” product. They are real cider with real ingredients. Pure, natural and uniquely flavorful. We grow, harvest, and press the apples right here on the farm. It is a time consuming, labor intensive process and worth every bit of what it takes to make it.
Our cider is not only natural, it is truly organic. It always has been. It’s simply a fact of what we do – and how we do it. We use no insecticides in the farm orchards. Rather, we do what generations before us did. We have a large flock of guinea fowl that wander about and eat the bugs. Fallen apples that have hit the ground are always a food source for pests, so we let Berkshire pigs wander the orchard and eat the fallen apples.
After the harvest, we press our organic apples and allow them to slowly ferment for up to six months. We then carefully hand fill and label each bottle and let it age for several weeks. There are only two ingredients in our original JK’S Scrumpy. Juice and Yeast. No artificial flavors or colors and of course no sulfites or sorbates. We strive to make the best cider possible using these old methods and our traditional family recipe. There will be slight variations from bottle to bottle and year to year. Just as no two apples are ever the same!
In a fast-paced, instant gratification society all this may seem a little old fashioned, or not cost-effective. We have a cider that is not like any other, and the idea of playing around with what makes that happen… well, it just isn’t part of the plan.