At the time of the first settlers, the Champlain Valley of Vermont was a hotbed of cider apple growing, with thousands of trees dotting the valley landscape. Over time the land has been put to other use, with many trees removed or forgotten.
But all is not lost--heritage apple varieties planted centuries ago can still be found in lost corners of old farms and forests. Shacksbury Cider launched The Lost Apple Project to ensure that these heirloom varieties don’t slip into extinction. Help us plant 500 trees and create the nation’s first lost apple orchard.
We have already secured the land and started harvesting apples from forgotten trees. What we need now is to invest in the tree stock to build the heirloom apple orchard. Your support goes toward rootstock and nursery fees for the 500 trees we will plant--every $20 pledged plants a tree in our ten acre orchard!
At Shacksbury Cider, we’ve scoured the globe in search of fantastic hard ciders and know that these lost apples will make world-class cider. We’re currently picking 150 bushels of heirloom Vermont apples to test for key cider characteristics like sugar content and acidity; from these tests we will determine the top 10 varieties to be grafted to bud wood and planted in our ten acre orchard.
We’ve lined up local nurseries and orchards who are eager to help out on this project—we just need your help making it happen. Just a $20 pledge and we are able to add a lost apple tree to the orchard. Additionally, we will take the heirloom apples we gathered this fall and release a limited batch of “1840” hard cider, representing the style and taste of cider as it was made over 150 years ago.
You can have a VIP experience of the “1840” cider at our release party June 2014 when you contribute $125 toward the Project!
Heirloom apple varieties are all over our nation — and we want to make sure as many are located as possible. We hope that other cider makers take up the call to find the lost varieties of their region and turn them into cider that our nation's settlers would have been proud to drink. As part of our efforts we will create a guide for other Lost Apple projects around the country, reviving heirloom apple varieties all over the nation.
We also offer an array of awesome rewards that invite you to join Colin and Dave for private cider and cheese tastings, We are fortunate to have these incredible rewards for the Lost Apple project, and we can't wait to spread the love to our supporters.
With apple harvest underway, it's critical to get support now to make the nation's first heirloom cider apple orchard happen. Please help us plant 500 trees and save the Lost Apples for generations to come!
Risks and challenges
Working with professional orchards like Sunrise Orchards here in Vermont, we are confident that the Lost Apple Project will take root. What we can’t control is nature—as with any orchard we are subject to weather—and we are still waiting to see if these varieties produce apples every year, or are biennial. These risks are similar to challenges facing other commercial orchards in our region, and we are confident that we can draw on our strong relationships with Champlain Valley apple producers to overcome any trials.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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