Cider House staff

A Letter of Goodbye from Melissa

LG Melissa goodbye sunset.jpg

Greetings friends near and far,

I write to let you know that today begins my transition away from Good Life Farm - Kite & String Cider - Finger Lakes Cider House. There are many details to wrap up, but today marks the moment.

Regenerative agriculture is a powerful tool for clean air, clean water and right livelihood. With that in mind I’ve sunk my roots into the farm for the past 11 years. My blood, sweat, tears, and all my ideals are part of the soil of this place. Leaving has not come easily but for myself and for the trifecta of these businesses, it is time I seek other opportunities to explore and contribute.

The farm and cidery and Cider House continue to be what they are- places for gathering and testing the realities of farming ideals.  I look forward to what evolves next at this special home on Hickok Road. Your love for the Cider House and Good Life Farm are also and always appreciated, and I invite you to continue to visit and partake.

The Cider House and farm still accessible via website (fingerlakesciderhouse.com), Facebook (FingerLakesCiderHouse) and Instagram (@flciderhouse). If you’re interested in staying in touch with me specifically, I will continue on Instagram - I’ve renamed the @kiteandstringcider Instagram account to @fromcidertohere.

Be well, and thank you for helping make the most of these eleven years spent here,

Melissa

PS… I thought I’d share some beauty that came my way as I was preparing for this transition.

And I Was Alive Osip Mendelstam

And I was alive in a blizzard of blossoming pear,

Myself I stood in the storm of the bird-cherry tree.

It was all leaflife and starshower, unerring,

self-shattering power,

And it was all aimed at me.

What is this dire delight flowering fleeing always earth?

What is being? What is truth?

Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,

All hover and hammer,

Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.

It is now. It is not.


IURC1838.JPG

Welcoming three new folks to our team!

smvintage tasting 2018 (march 2019).jpg

Welcome Hannah, Stephanie and Rick!

Two Tasting Room Managers and our Production Assistant are on board

JOBS HERE NOW: Accepting rolling applications for the Tasting Room staff

Over the past week, we’ve got a new team forming. All three of our new staff represent restructuring for 2019 and our excitement for the future. When we tell the story of our farm-cidery-tasting room, it often revolves around the slow burn from 2008-2014 when we lived off-grid on 300W of power, farmed with the horses and worked on a long arc relying on trees that only bear in year 10 or 15. Between 2013-2015 we started both the Kite & String Cidery (née Good Life Cider) and the Finger Lakes Cider House. In that time we went from farming to farming, cider making, hospitality and our tiny cafe. It took us from 1.5 employees to up to 20 in our busiest season. Garrett and I have been rapidly adjusting in order to keep our eyes on that long arc and our primary values. We are grateful to have our current loyal team and to welcome new members to help us manage the opportunities we’ve created and are blessed by.

Hannah and Stephanie will be sharing management of the Tasting Room, with Michelle here to guide them through the transition. Both Hannah and Stephanie have additional duties intended to help us grow our ability to do private events, high brow private tastings, paired lunches and priortize our growing Cider Club. They come to us with significant experience and commitment to the Finger Lakes wine scene and we’re honored to have them aboard. Over the next few weeks you’ll find each of them on the Tasting Room floor any day of the week. Please help us welcome them!

Rick has joined us to support that funny combination of cidery and farm. Each year we find ourselves stretching to meet the needs of each, and often the busy times for both overlap. We hired Rick with great excitement because of his background in land management. We’re excited to have further support from an inspired team to keep our vintages top notch and our trees better cared for. You’ll see Rick out and about, and please say hello!

Reminder! We are still hiring for the Tasting Room, weekends especially.

APPLY HERE

sm ginger presprout Feb 28 2019.jpg

Kite & String Cider-Good Life Farm is hiring for 2019!

NOW HIRING: FARM AND CIDERY PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

December 19, 2018

Join our team!  Our farm-cidery-tasting room is hiring for a full-time position starting March, 2019. The Production Assistant will split duties between the farm and cidery, with duties rotating as the seasons demand. Good Life Farm is our diversified organic farm featuring apple, peach and pear orchards, season extension, poultry and draft horses. Kite & String is our cidery where we make a range of artisanal cider sourced from our own organic Good Life apples and those of other Finger Lakes orchards. All of this is the setting for our tasting room and cafe Finger Lakes Cider House.  

DOWNLOAD AND SHARE THIS JOB!

 

Summary

March through December 2019, possibility for long term employment based on mutual fit.

40 hr per week. Weekdays M-F, with one weekend per month.

Pay rate sliding $15.50-17/hr based on experience

 

Skills Sought

Some mix of trade skills- electrical, plumbing, carpentry, or min 3 years working full time on a farm or in a cidery/winery. Must be self-motivated and able to work in a team- taking direction from multiple managers and alone- keeping pace and attention to detail for solo tasks. We prefer to hire someone looking for longer term employment based on mutual fit.

 

Job Details

This job is a seasonal immersion in the life of an integrated farm-cidery-tasting room. The Production Assistant will assist seasonally in all aspects of our Kite & String Cider production and our Good Life Farm management. Weekly duties will be split roughly evenly between both the cidery and farm, but will shift weekly/monthly to meet seasonal demands. Throughout the season the Production Assistant will participate in harvest, washing and packing of Good Life fruit and produce, and daily livestock chores plus one weekend per month. Orchard management will be a primary focus. The Production Assistant will work with the team on infrastructure improvements throughout the year. Cidery tasks are ongoing all year, with a focus on bottling until apple harvest and pressing begin in late September/early October.

 

To Apply

Please send a letter of interest, resume with references to:

Melissa Madden (melissa@thegoodlifefarm.org)

Applications will be taken on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

All questions via email.

JOB DESCRIPTION DOWNLOAD

Outcomes from last Sunday's Flood Relief Benefit with Silo Food Truck, Copper Horse Coffee, TOiVO and The Flywheels

39390579_1809488189120530_1874608046219460608_o.jpg

What happened?

After the devastating storm on Tuesday (8/13/2018) morning, we found our neighbors in Hector, Lodi and Sheldrake particularly affected. Much is documented about this, so we will leave it to our local reporters. 

Next up in trickling effects was the canceling of Phish's 4-day music fest in Watkins Glen due to water quality issues. This left vendors all over the region scrambling with inventory and staffing. 

We teamed up with 2 of those vendors- Silo Food Truck and Copper Horse Coffee- to try to bring some action to all that food and some conversation to the relief effort. On Sunday, August 19, the Cider House closed down our kitchen and gave all food service over to Silo and Copper Horse. We rounded up our dear friends from TOiVO and The Flywheels for a little rousing music and went into the day with hearts full and a great amount of unknown.


What was the goal?

We sought to provide a place for the Flood Relief Conversation to happen, and evolve. The Willard Lion's Club, Lodi Fire Department and STEPS offered to staff the donations/info area, and we were off!

Did we reach our goal?

All day we were joined by folks looking to plug into the relief effort. The options were there- Buy from Silo and 50% of proceeds went to the Sheldrake and Lodi Relief Funds. Volunteer via the Lion's Club. Donate needed items straight into the Lodi Fire Dept. trailer for distribution. 

We'd say, as a first-responder, farmer-developed-in-24-hours sort of benefit that yes, it felt successful. This is only the beginning!


TOiVO photo 2017 funny.jpg

Who contributed?

In cash, the Cider House, Silo Food Truck and individuals using our online Donate Button are donating over $4,000 split between the Lodi and Sheldrake Relief Funds.

Silo also served around 700 free meals on Friday and Monday to Relief volunteers.

More coming!


What next?

You can still donate online, via our Donate Button.

 

Further contact for Sheldrake 

Sue Bobnick: 607-327-0930, email: nala10@gmail.com

MAIL CHECK TO: First Assembly of God, memo "Sheldrake Point Relief Fund" 7412 Wyers Point Rd. Ovid, NY 14521

 

Further Contact for Lodi

George MacCheyne: 607-279-8261

MAIL CHECK TO: "Between the Lakes Flood Relief 2018". PO Box 299 Lodi, NY 14860


flywheels.jpg

A Pin In Time: 5 Vintages of Cazenovia

Staff Training 2.28.2018, Caz vertical.jpg

Staff Training February 28, 2018

Marking time in our own little tree ring…

On the verge of finalizing the 2017 blend, we spent an hour walking through a vertical tasting of Good Life Farm-Kite & String Cide Cazenovia, starting with our first vintage in 2013 and through the blending trials and proposed final blend for 2017. Reminiscing fueled by cider as each vintage reminded us of something unique to our orchard cider community- Eve's Cidery's generosity in 2013 when they let us start production at their place while still building ours; my own learning curve in selling cider alongside vegetables, fruit and meat; the support of Cornell Orchards, Black Diamond Cider, Redbyrd Orchard Cider and Farnum Hill Cider in getting bittersweet cider varieties into our country.

Staff Training 2.28.2018, toast.jpg

Cheers to the uniqueness that emerges as we produce or more of our own bittersweets here at Good Life Farm to make Cazenovia- one of my personal favorite ciders for its tannic dryness and  the windows it opens into past support that is the Finger Lakes and northeastern cider communities. This tasting marked the slow, one-chance-annually evolution of us a cider makers in the fine methode champenoise tradition 🥂

August 2017 at Eve's Cidery: Lessons in the Traditional Method

Notes on our 8/16/17 Visit

By Ezra Sherman and Autumn Stoscheck, owners of Eve's Cidery

The premise of the staff training was 'Bittersweet apples, Natural bubbles', but the implications were deeper. What does it mean to make cider with true cider varieties instead of left over supermarket apples? What is the point of going through all the effort of using the traditional method to make bubbly cider?

Ezra gave a lesson on the art of disgorging, a processes for removing the yeast after an in-bottle secondary fermentation and Autumn led the group through a tasting of our 2015 Autumn's Gold and two French Ciders from La Perche and and Pays d'Auge, all made from bittersweet apples. 

IMG_0731.JPG

The lessons were interesting but afterward we sat around in front of the cider barn watching the sun set and enjoying a simple farm meal. As we ate, the French cider began to grow on everyone. We talked about 300 year old apple trees, the story that well-made cider tells, and traditions that link us to farms across continents. 

Read more about Eve's  Cidery on their blog...

IMG_0740.JPG

Cider House Staff Training: Celebrating 10 years at the Good Life Farm

Good Life Farm and Cider, now Kite & String, home of Finger Lakes Cider House and all your best friends

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

First cycle of Cider House staff training is complete! After starting our monthly tours with Eve's Cider in April and hitting Black Diamond in May and Redbyrd in June, we come home to the Cider House and the farm that is its foundation.

Good Life Farm- a dream of building topsoil now in its tenth year. Home to Garrett and Melissa, who've been holding and implementing a regenerative design here for 10 years. Enter Matt and brother Jimmy, horses+dogs+cows+turkeys+geese and add, with the 2015 opening of the Cider House, 15 more human team members.

Together we balance the long term ecological focus of the Good Life Farm with immediate economic reality. Good Life Farm is just coming into it's own- just barely- and the Cider House collaboration and our own Good Life/ Kite & String Cider production have made this leg of the journey that much sweeter.

So we took this time to top off the longest party weekend if the year with a day-after gathering of our own to honor the Good Life Farm (Kite & String/Good Life Cider) and the entire Cider House team. In particular, we say goodbye to Brad, who brought a new level of integrity and intensity to the Tasting Bar but really, and also, employed his naturalist skills to bring us some forgotten apples from Hector for a new, soon to be released collaborative cider. Brad is off to new adventures, and maybe he'll someday tell us where those trees are.  For now, we thank him for bolstering our young orchard with the fruit of these steady, survivalist elders.

And we'll try to do those hard-won apples (2016- just a real challenge of a growing year) some justice...

And sometimes at the end of all this heavy thinking, we just celebrate! Here's to the trees, here's to the teamwork that gets us there, whether we've been working together for a week or all this decade long.