Deirdre Birmingham in her orchard on The Cider Farm in Wisconsin.

Apples, Cider, and Chasing a FarmHer Dream

I arrived at Deirdre’s farm in late summer, just as the apple harvest was about to start.  There was already a crew of workers sorting apples at the packing shed when I pulled up. It was the first batch of the season.  I met Deirdre there and we set off to see more of the farm where she pours her heart and soul into. 

Woman holding a single apple in her hand at The Cider Farm orchard in Wisconsin.

Apples That Are Not Quite Sweet

First up, a lesson in splicing together apple trees to create just the right varieties.  Deirdre explained to me that the varieties she grows are packed full of tannins to create the perfect sparkling hard cider. 

She has been focused on growing the orchard for 18 years and it has a been a labor of love. 

Then we headed out to the orchard filled with hundreds and hundreds of rows of apple trees.  Deirdre explained that while the apples might look like your typical fruit on the tree, they are anything but that. 

Woman standing in a large apple orchard with brown boots on.

They are smaller and don’t have a sweet taste.  I tried one so I could understand what she was saying and she was definitely right! 

A Hard Apple Cider For Everyone’s Taste

As we walked through the orchard and she explained variety after variety to me, I became more and more curious to try her cider.  I’ve only had hard cider a few times and remembered it being really sweet and not exactly my taste.  So, when we finished up at the farm we headed back into Madison for a stop at the other important part of The Cider Farm, their tasting room. 

The tasting room opened in 2012 and boasts a full lineup of products from The Cider Farm as well as other Wisconsin farms.  When I pulled up I spotted the patio that along with a cold drink was calling my name.  First things first though, we headed to the backroom to see where the magic happens. 

Deirdre showed me a fermenting tank and the bottling area where their products come to life. 

Back out front, I found my perfect spot on the patio and started in on a tasting.  From Cizer (cider with honey) to the sparkling rose cider they all tasted different yet delicious. 

In fact, it was pretty hard to land on a favorite!  Paired with a charcuterie board filled with Wisconsin’s finest meats and cheeses, the afternoon came to a wonderful close. 

Deirdre Birmingham at The Cider Farm in Wisconsin in the tasting room holding a hard apple cider.

Apples That Lead To Accomplishing A FarmHer Dream

Learning from Deirdre about her unique varieties of apples and tasting the delicious end product was pretty great.  However, getting to see a FarmHer living out her dream was the best part of the day.

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