Steve Selin, the cidermaker, apple picker, and community orchardist has been bottling his own cider since 2003.  He is a musician grounded firmly in traditional American Old-Time music - a genre that (he likes to point out) has many parallels to cider: In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries both cider and Old-Time music were staples of American culture, only to be sidelined by more mechanized and industrial rivals. Both the music and cider are maturing and being re-incorporated into American culture in a very real and organic manner. Musical references inspire many of the ciders' names.

Collaborating with neighbors to help maintain and reclaim wild trees and forgotten orchards for use in cider making has been a labor of love for years ~ see the Fingerlakes Apple Tree Project. The apples from these trees, plus bittersweet and heirloom apples from other small orchards, enable us to give every bottle of cider the solid foundation needed for world-class ciders. We produced 1,250 cases in 2015. 

Pruning old farm orchards is one of my pastimes in the later winter.  It is very satisfying to see the trees become happier and the fruit more colorful and flavorful as a result.

Pruning old farm orchards is one of my pastimes in the later winter.  It is very satisfying to see the trees become happier and the fruit more colorful and flavorful as a result.

Living four miles south of the Ithaca Commons, Steve and his family collaborated with an adjoining landowner to allow Steve to plow these fallow fields and to plant an orchard of cider apples. This land, being so close to Downtown Ithaca, is under intense development pressure. In 2014 Steve helped the landowner to protect his land with a Conservation Easement, which will protect the land from subdivision and development in perpetuity. The land adjoins 182 acres of Finger Lakes Land Trust and Cornell Preserves and is located on the Finger Lakes Trail. update: We finally purchased the land from Arthur Hanson in late 2014! 

Family helpers harvesting apples from a wild seedling russet apple tree.

Family helpers harvesting apples from a wild seedling russet apple tree.

tractor and sheep