We had ourselves a winter up here in VT. There was the usual mixed bag of rain, sleet, ice, and snow. We even had a few blockbuster snowstorms. Yet what really got us was the cold. Bitter cold. Cold that grabs your face, makes your eyes water, and then freezes those tears before you can even get to your car in the morning. #polarvortex.
Yet all of us here at Woodchuck continue to live through these Vermont winters year after year. The spring season may just be the reason why. It’s a glorious time of year. We had to wait a little longer than usual this year but the leaves are back, tulips are popping from the ground, and winter coats are headed to storage closets. Some say the sweet isn’t quite as sweet without the sour. Working through winter frost bite to get to spring rejuvenation may just be how that particular idiom came to be.
It is also blossom time in the orchards. It is a beautiful period and a critically important one for our local apple growers. Bees need to pollinate the blossoms in order for the tree to bear fruit. Without the apple, there is no juice, and in turn there is no Woodchuck. #thanksbees.
Once opened, apple fruit buds have five flowers, the largest of which is called the king blossom. Each flower can turn into an apple if pollination is good. As a side benefit, the apple blossoms are also very fragrant.
The honey bees are often brought in from off site, and spend weeks combing through the acres of orchard in Vermont’s fertile Champlain Valley. The honey produced from the apple blossoms is a high quality light honey. While there have been massive bee die-offs across the world, Vermont’s population has remained fairly intact. So much so, those Vermont bees are sometimes shipped to other parts of the country to help pollinate orchards.
We are grateful spring has sprung, summer is on the way, the apple blossoms are blooming, and the good old honey bee is up to its old tricks. It is a yearly cycle that yields fruit, which is pressed into juice, and results in handcrafted Woodchuck Hard Cider. #goodstuff.