Call it a frost, call it a freeze, early June 2018 was a tough month for growers across Nova Scotia.
There was at least one, and in some areas two, days early last June that began with freezing temperatures.
“On the valley floor it hit between -3 C and -5 C, so the growers on the valley floor suffered significant damage,” said Larry Lutz, President NS Fruit Growers Assn.
Crop loss is a terrible problem for growers; they don't get another shot until next year.
However, damage to crops for some cider producers was a small blessing last year. What!? How could this be?
Cider, as a category of beverage alcohol, is growing by leaps and bounds in Nova Scotia. Local cider is a big part of this growth, as consumers embrace ready-to-drink products. The NSLC has determined their ready-to-drink sales increased by 81% from 2017 to 2018. Over 50% of cider consumed in Nova Scotia is made right here. In a year where crops are damaged and consumption is increasing at the same time, it looked like a perfect storm of problems.
Except, cider makers don't need 'pretty' fruit! While apples for retail use (eating apples) were in short supply in 2018, this actually benefitted the cider industry, because the fruit that would normally be bagged for eating went to cider production. More local apples to make local cider just at the right time!
Liquid Assets NS is pleased to be working with over ten local producers making cider right here in Nova Scotia from local fruit.
As they say at Chain Yard Cider in Halifax, 'Drink More Apples!'
Quote from: Crops across Nova Scotia damaged by ‘killer’ spring frost