From an early age, Galen has shown an affinity towards apples (he even claimed that he liked apples the best in his Dr. Seuss book at age 4!). He remembers scrambling up trees and collecting apples for his dad, who would then turn them into a bit of cider in the basement. He recollects using apples as projectiles, whipping little green apples at his brother; rarely evading the welts in the back from the small rock-like spheres hurled back in retaliation. He recalls his favorite snack of apple slices with peanut butter, the apples cut a particular way (side note: find out how your man's mom cut his snacks and he'll be yours forever!), and his dad's infamous apple pancakes. All the while, he was unaware those memories were to lead him down this path we are now currently treading.
Little did he know that, many years later, these experiences would lead to his current day passion for apples. Through years, he has come to love the nuances of such a a seemingly simple food. Gleaning knowledge about how to care for trees, how to create new trees, and how critical apples are to Maine's heritage has really been a delight for him recently. He's even passed on this love of apples to me, a city girl from Southern California who cannot recall seeing an apple tree until touring the Washington countryside searching for wine. We visited several lovely little wineries tucked among the orchards of the northwest.
Today, Galen's passion for apples has led to his desire to carry on a New England tradition by crafting small-batch hard cider. We have recently purchased a 230-year old farmhouse, complete with field and barn. These last two items will be headquarters for Belstar's endeavors. Galen has decided to fill the field with 125 heritage apple trees to help fill the need for cider-specific fruit. The barn will be my domain, where I can welcome in those who have traveled from near and far to sample our fine heritage cider.
The best part is the future holds unlimited potential for more apple memories. Whether it's encountering a field of millions of bees working for the benefit of all or the pure joy of using a woodchipper to grind the apples for pressing (it had never been used for anything but!), we know that there will be many more memories and experiences. With this hardy little fruit, we will encounter joys and sorrows, ups and downs along this road of life in the years to come, No matter the occasion, we look forward to sharing them with you; our friends, family, and those soon to be acquainted. We look forward to the apple memories we will make in the future!
...to the Belstar Orchards Blog. We will use this space to gather our thoughts, provide tidbits and tips, and let you know what's going on, with the hopes of bonding and strengthening our community: those who enjoy good food and drink, good friends, and good times. We heartily encourage feedback and comments.