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Making Campton's Cider Orchards Grow
$10,895 pledged
109% of $10k goal
69 contributors
26 Hours left Ends Jun 25, 2018

Campton's Cider Orchards will be something new, by being something very old - an orchard that grows fruit just for making cider. 

After many years of planning, learning, and searching, John and Maddie Wernham have finally bought themselves a farm where this orchard can be planted! However, buying the farm has taken everything we've got, with precious little left over to turn that farm into an actual working farm. That's where you come in...

But why? Well, for many years, "the family farm" has been on the decline in Canada. In many ways, this concentrates agriculture and food production under the control of international corporations that don't have a strong connection to the land. While there are incredible efficiencies to production on such a massive scale, something gets lost along the way. Food is only as healthy as the land that produces it.

Campton's Cider Orchards will be different from most modern orchards. Instead of focusing on extracting as much fruit as possible per acre of land, the orchard will be grown in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible. What does that mean? It means...supporting natural insect predators to keep pests in check; planting the trees with more spacing to allow drying breezes to move down the rows and protect against tree diseases; diversifying the understory by planting herbs and flowers amongst the trees to support healthy bee populations year-round; maintaining nesting habitat for hawks and owls to encourage natural rodent control and protect the trees. This also means that Campton's Cider Orchards could produce less fruit than conventional orchards, but that loss is more than offset by the value of the increased health of the orchard and surrounding environment.

What is needed now is the means to convert the existing hayfield on the farm into an orchard. This includes the equipment for cultivating cover crops to increase the organic content of the soil, many pounds of seed for the companion herbs and flowers that will support healthy bees throughout the year, a row mulcher for laying loads of mulch to reduce the grass competition for the young trees during their establishment years (without using herbicides), and the equipment necessary for pruning and harvesting the trees to actually realize the fruits of all the labour! 

And what's up with the name? Why would the Wernham family go with "Campton's Cider"? Shortly after we met, I first encountered my wife's grandfather, Bob Campton. He got me started on craft beer, which then led me to craft cider, and he's been tremendously supportive over the years. Because of his significance in our lives, along with the fact that his family name won't otherwise be carried on to the next generation, one of our goals is to establish a fitting legacy for Grandpa Campton, a gentle soul and thoroughly decent person who ought to be remembered. 

Many of us appreciate that the current path of our food production could lead to some major problems down the road, but it also seems like there's very little any of us can do to change it for the better. Well, why not make a contribution to help one family plant an orchard that's better for the environment and better for people?

 

 

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Perks

$40 CAD
Plant a Tree
  • 15 granted
An orchard without trees is just a field; this choice is similar to being a founding grower, but a specific area of the orchard will be planted by trees paid for by contributors to this crowdfunding campaign, as a living and growing record of their support in making the dream a reality. If desired, contributors will receive email updates on the growth of their tree each season.

This contribution can also be made on behalf of another person. John Wernham will email you after the conclusion of this crowdfunding campaign to confirm the name.
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$50 CAD + shipping
Mead, aged with oak
  • 5 ordered
Ships Worldwide
Estimated delivery Jun 2020
While the focus (at least for several years) won't be on actually making cider, there will still be plenty of batches on a hobby scale to ensure the fruit results in a delicious end product!
Mead is the proper name of honey wine - honey is mixed into water, then fermented in basically the same way as grape wine. As some of my neighbours know, the results can be absolutely delicious. Mead is also the natural partner of cider and perry, taking some of the honey produced by the bees who pollinated the apples and pears to achieve even more orchard-derived deliciousness.
It takes at least a year to make properly, so in early 2020 I will have a batch bottled in 750 ml wine bottles and ready for delivery to contributors.
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$50 CAD + shipping
Sparkling Perry
  • 3 ordered
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Jun 2021
Perry is to pears what cider is to apples. Relatively uncommon in North America, perry is naturally sweeter than cider because pears have more un-fermentable sugars. However, it is somewhat harder to make because pears are a little more difficult than apples to press for juice. The result is a champagne-like drink that rightly deserves a class for itself.
In 2017 I grafted some authentic perry pear varieties in the experimental orchard; if all goes well, they will fruit in 2020. Selecting this product will give you the opportunity to enjoy and share a very unique beverage! It will be bottled for early 2021 in a 750 ml champagne bottle with natural effervescence (carbonation resulting from the yeast fermenting the sugars).
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$75 CAD + shipping
1 gallon of cider!
  • 1 ordered
Ships Worldwide
Estimated delivery May 2021
Although I will be growing the fruit that will be used by cider makers who focus exclusively on that element of the craft, there will nonetheless be hobby batches to ensure that the fruit results in great cider!
This option will give you a 1 gallon glass jug of cider to enjoy with friends and family - some cider the way that cider is supposed to be.
Using a wide variety of the apples grown in the orchard, hand-pressed, small-batch and slow fermented craft cider will be ready for shipping in early 2021 (it takes a while for the trees to produce, and another year to ferment the cider properly). If multiple orders are made, I can custom-tailor the delivery to include different cider flavours by using different kinds of apples to start, fortifying with honey, or adding other kinds of fruit.
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$75 CAD + shipping
Adopt a Tree
  • 5 ordered
  • 95 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Nov 2022
Expanding on the Plant a Tree option, contributing at this level will provide the contributor with 20 pounds of fruit from the first two seasons when the orchard starts producing fruit. As with planting a tree, contributors can receive email updates each season to see how their tree is growing, if they desire. The fruit will be delivered in 2 separate shipments of 10 lbs each, during the first 2 seasons when the tree produces fruit. It will take 3-4 years to come into production (maybe even 5 or 6 if there's difficult weather) and the fruit that is delivered will be a mix of varieties that are suitable for fresh eating or baking.

Please note that fruit cannot be shipped to BC from Ontario, due to inter-provincial transport restrictions that are in place to protect against the spread of disease or pests into BC.
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$10 CAD
Founding Grower
  • 5 granted
Our thanks for your support, which will be remembered by the addition of your name to the "founding grower" wall.
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$20 CAD + shipping
T-shirt!
  • 8 claimed
  • 192 remaining
Ships Worldwide
Estimated delivery Jan 2019
Because what crowdfunding campaign would be complete with a T-shirt?!?!
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$50 CAD + free shipping
Laser-etched Stainless Steel Pocket Knife
  • 2 claimed
  • 98 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Feb 2019
This is the same size and style of knife that I've found ideal for doing grafting work with trees in the orchard. The stainless steel blade won't easily rust, while the locking sleeve protects against accidental closure. The handle will be laser-engraved with the Campton's Cider Co. name, giving you a practical keepsake to remember the contribution you made to grow an orchard from a dream into reality.
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$50 CAD + shipping
Orchard Honey
  • 7 ordered
  • 43 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Nov 2019
Campton's Cider Orchards will be partnered with a local beekeeper who has been searching for additional hive locations - a natural partnership!
At the end of the season, we'll have a share of the honey from the orchard hives. For those who contribute to establishing the orchard and making everything possible, a 1 kg jar of unpasteurized honey will be delivered as a sign of our gratitude.
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$100 CAD + shipping
Custom-made Drink Caddy
  • 6 claimed
  • 19 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Jan 2019
This perk goes to the ultimate purpose of this orchard: giving cider makers the fruit needed to make delicious ciders! These handy caddies hold 6 cans or bottles of your preferred beverage, offering both function and style. They're made by a Kingston-area woodworker, so this perk that is earned for supporting Campton's Cider Orchards also pays it forward to another small business.
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$100 CAD + shipping
Orchard sun hat
  • 1 claimed
  • 71 remaining
Ships Worldwide
Estimated delivery May 2019
Those who know us, know that sun protection is something we take seriously! Especially during long days outside, a good hat brings some shade with you everywhere you go. In keeping with the theme of orchard-related perks for supporting this crowdfunding campaign, the hat will be embroidered with "Campton's Cider Orchards" logo.
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$250 CAD + free shipping
Your own apple or pear tree!
  • 4 ordered
  • 16 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Apr 2021
Some people who are contributing to this are probably interested in growing fruit trees themselves - I can help that happen! I will graft a cold-hardy rootstock with three apple or pear varieties that are compatible for pollinating each other in the spring and then ripen in succession over the fall. As with all the varieties that will be planted in the orchard, disease resistance is a must to ensure a low-maintenance tree! The varieties will be dual-purpose: good for either eating or making your own craft cider. A trunk guard will also be included.
Note that it will take a few years to grow out the main trunk, graft on the appropriate varieties, and then grow for a season to confirm that the grafts took. Your tree would be ready for planting in spring 2021.
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$500 CAD + shipping
Custom wool blanket
  • 4 ordered
  • 36 remaining
Ships Worldwide
Estimated delivery Dec 2019
As part of the holistic approach, a small sheep flock will be part of the orchard. The wool will be sent to a weaver in New Brunswick to make blankets exclusively from the wool sheared from the orchard's flock. This product will provide an enduring keepsake in memory of your contribution to make the farm into a real working farm.
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$1,000 CAD + free shipping
Your own backyard orchard!
  • 0 ordered
  • 10 remaining
Ships to Canada
Estimated delivery Apr 2021
For the highest level of support, I will prepare 4 multi-graft trees that contributors can then plant in their own backyard to establish a mini-orchard. Each tree will have 3 varieties, giving a total of 12 different apple or pear varieties. I will discuss directly with each contributor to confirm preferred tastes and seasoning of ripening to custom graft each tree.
A set of high-quality pruning shears, trunk guards, and companion plant seeds will be included to help you grow your own mini orchard, in the same ecological and sustainable style as the much larger orchard that you made possible.
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