Apple juice producers are not allowed to use windfall apples for their juice, said Charlie Brous of raserbench Farm in Soda Creek, northwest of Williams Lake.
So when he and his partner Lynda Archibald discovered the rules were different for making apple cider, they were thrilled.
Speaking at the Medieval Market in Williams Lake last Saturday, where they launched, and sold out in a day, their latest product — Cariboo Apple Cider Vinegar — Brous said they have been making cider vinegar for themselves for years.
“We live north of the townsite at Soda Creek,” Brous said. “We make and sell non-pasteurized apple juice but can only use apples we pick from trees.”
Cider has a minimum four per cent acetic acid, Brous explained.
It has to be between four and seven percent to meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s standard.
Friends have told Brous they drink a tablespoon of apple cider with water every day for health reasons.
Archibald said they use it for salad dressings or quick pickled dishes for dinner.
They have had the farm for 25 years and Archibald said it’s just a little place, but it produces well.
There are 35 apple trees, although some are young and still babies, she added.
“We’ve experimented with almost every tree that Richbar Nursery sells in Quesnel over the years planting new trees,” Archibald said.
Hardy trees in the Cariboo are often early bearing trees, she explained, and the problem is they are often non-keepers.
They ripen earlier, are kind of soft and don’t keep as well.
And good juice apples hang on in the fall because they sweeten on the tree.
“With our climate here you never know what the fall is going to be. In the spring if they flower too early they get frosted and all those problems,” Archibald said.
Two years ago they purchased Honey Crisp trees and a couple other newish varieties and are wondering how they will work out.
When they purchased the farm there were some existing older trees. Archibald grafted some of them and they are still surviving.