We still have a few weeks left in our busy apple season, but things are starting to wrap up. We are beginning to reflect on this year, both for practical strategic planning, but also observing how amazing it has been because of the people in our lives. They say “it takes a village” and that is so true even about our baby – yegcider. With Thanksgiving here, we wanted to take some time to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of that village this year.
Ayden has helped us tremendously this year, consistently coming by after work to help press or spending “date nights” with me picking fruit. A new discovery this season was his remarkable tree climbing abilities. Ayden has been a great sounding board for both of us as we mull over ideas and long term plans. He has kept me sane when things have been overwhelming and took care of little things, like making sure I eat. He let me high jack our holidays for a whirlwind cider tour of British Columbia and was always happy to check out ANOTHER cidery. Ayden has amazing attention to detail and has been so helpful at events – everything from cutting wood for our fire pit, to making sure my hair wasn’t a mess.
Aaron has been the king of red flesh crabapples. We can all thank him for his contribution of beautiful colour and complex flavour profiles to next year’s cider. He has developed a knack for finding all the good spots to pick them; he also has spent hours and hours picking the tiny crab apples. This is a job that no one is jumping to do, except him! Aaron has also been a great influence on both of us to take time to chill by going to the beach or out for Indian food. He has also spent many nights pressing with Nathan until after dark.
Christiane has offered us her truck more times than I can count. We are really sorry that it now has a permanent apple smell! She has been a great help picking fruit and we had some really great chats while stuck in the cherry bushes. Christiane has been a superstar at events, always seeing where she can pitch in. She also makes killer mulled cider! AND she just returned from Europe where she brought us back a collection of ciders from a little shop in Prague.
Caleb has spent hours cooking our random apple recipe requests and preparing for parties. He has developed a pretty good palette for cider tasting too! He is good to send us ridiculous goat videos when we are feeling overwhelmed. His sense of humour is always appreciated, especially in his blog posts like the infamous pumpkin spice expose.
We also need to say a huge thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on our 2018 cider. We appreciated how much time you all spent filling out our survey with honest feedback. We have loved the positive reactions, but even more, have loved your sense of humour when you didn’t like one of our ciders. We had so much fun with Edmonton’s Next Cider Superstar (which we will try to finish?) especially when alliances started forming and I was getting in trouble in real life for ciders being eliminated.
This year we have been overwhelmed by the response from the community in donating fruit. It warmed our hearts to know that lots of people out there share our goal of seeing less food go to waste in our city. Thank you so much to those of you who dropped off fruit – it seemed like our apple collection was growing daily! Thank you to those of you who spotted public trees for us, picked for your neighbours or family members or who reached out to us for extra help. We have loved being welcomed into people’s yards and being introduced to your kids and your pets. We have cherished every story we were told about your apple trees, who planted them, and your grandpa who grafted.
Ultimately we want to create a community of cider drinkers and cider makers, so we want to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of that community, especially online. We appreciate the likes and shares, and LOVE when you chat with us. We have had some pretty great conversations getting to know you over messenger or email. Nathan and I laugh over your jokes. Our hearts grow two sizes when you comment and share our cider nerd enthusiasm. We feel overjoyed when you share your own cidermaking journey with us.
The Stachniaks have been a crucial part of my life since I was born and it’s no different with yegcider. Thank you to Bo & Deb for offering us orchard space and business advice. To your kids for helping us plant the orchard and sending us snapchat updates when we can’t make it out to check on it. Thank you to Josh & Ela for sharing your amazing chesnut crab apples, chokecherries, and the biggest haul of rhubarb to date. Your kids have become great little apple pickers! We also appreciate you letting us trial ciders on you, your family & guests – even in the early, less confident years! Thank you to Co Co for picking saskatoons and finding us spots to pick when we thought this season was a bust. And to Cha Cha and Auntie Shelley for your brutally honest feedback that still makes me laugh; we often tell people they shouldn’t feel bad giving us honest feedback because our aunt’s said our cider tastes like gravy. It has made me have a fondness for that cider, even though it is bad.
Thank you to Glyn & Shevelle, our fellow local cidermakers. It has been great to celebrate and commiserate over the state of the cider industry in Alberta. We have appreciated being on this journey together, knowing that we are all insane for wanting to do this.
Thank you to Amanda for taking AMAZING photos of us. You really captured the feelings of cidermaking and connected to our story. We also loved your (& Scott’s) feedback.
Sam & Amy have been helping us since the beginning. Thank you for bringing us apples, receiving our grinder, and hosting a tasting this year!
There are also numerous people and organizations that have been great to us this year, by encouraging us, sharing our story, letting us visit, connecting us to others and supporting us where they could:
Rochelle & Lorin, Ryan & Al, Sea Change Brewing, Pete & Karen, Canada Homebrewers, Edmonton Homebrewers, Kathy Yan Li, Farm to Bottle, Dustin Bajer, Wild Heart Collective, Nomad Cider, BX Press, Gabbie’s Cider, Sea Cider, CTV Edmonton, City TV, Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, Mike Johnson, our neighbour Dawn, our coworkers in our day jobs, Jacob & Chelsea, Monica & Paul, Linda & Gary, Aileen & George, Sunny & Jess, Kimberly Gramlich, Uncommon Cider, Sherbrooke Liquor, Destination Gardens/Not Your Babas, Shrugging Doctor, The Local Good, Princess Auto, Cafe Linnea, Bob & Crystal Kruger, the Devonian Fruit Growers Group, The United States Association of Cider Makers…
…and so many more! It was difficult to make a list because so many people have helped build yegcider this year. I am sure there are people we have forgotten – but I blame apple season brain overload.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
We hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving! Cheers!