January 6, 2010

For awhile, the doctors had me give up all fruit with the exception of low acid blueberries, watermelon, and pears. I ate a lot of pears during that period, as it replaced my apple a day. I like pears, especially boscs. They are really good with ginger snaps.

A little while after my diet restriction was lifted and I got the crazy notion to maybe brew cider, we traveled out to Hood River, OR for the Pear Festival in September. We had recently bought a house that was in need of planting some trees, and I thought pears would be nice. I started to ask a farmer a few questions about growing pear trees, and he got very curt with me. He told me not to do it, that we won’t take good care of it and it will get sick or get bugs, both of which will spread to real orchards and maybe his, and that we could buy plenty from him. Ouch! The man had some good points, and for cider, it would be easier to let someone else deal with the trees and fruit while I can focus on cider production, but the whole experience talking to this farmer left me very tentative.

A few weeks later, the Portland Nursery had a apple and pear tasting. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks was there, and he had gotten his hands on a whole bunch of cider, mostly from the east coast, for a tasting. I tentatively started asking questions, a little shy from the pear farm experience. Well, he is answering them, and next thing I know, I’m eating a cider apple that he hands me so that I can taste what a cider apple might taste like. His whole attitude was different from the pear farmer. The pear farmer saw me growing pears as a threat to his lively hood, and Wandering Aengus treated me like if I really did get serious about making cider, I would help boost the cider market and get it going, and that would be good for his business. I’m finding that attitude with a lot of cidermakers and the few mead makers I’ve talked to, and it gives me the warm fuzzies. I think I need to find a cider right now to physically give me the warm fuzzies.


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