Tag Archives: urban cidery

Blue Bee Cider

7 Jun

We hope you will join us at our Pop-up Market at  Blue Bee Cider in the Old Manchester District tomorrow, June 8, from 12:00-4:00pm.

We will have fresh local produce, Harvest Hill Farms meats, Quail Cove Cheese, freshly baked goodies from Flour Garden Bakery, and Polyface chickens! Blue Bee Cider, Virginia’s first and only urban cidery, will be open for your tasting pleasure from 12-6.

Until then, enjoy this piece we did on Blue Bee Cider back in December and then come taste the real deal with us tomorrow!

Follow The Tractor

Blue Bee Cider

The Farm Table had the opportunity last year to meet Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider, at the 2012 Richmond Earth Day Festival. We’ve enjoyed following the progress of this local business ever since.

Courtney, author of the Cider Apprentice Blog, started blogging about her experiences as an apprentice cidermaker at Albemarle CiderWorks in 2011. Since then, she has started her own urban cidery housed in Richmond’s Old Manchester District.

Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider

I had the pleasure of joining Courtney and her in December during a pressing, and came away from the visit appreciating the making of Blue Bee Cider even more. Courtney’s father, Mel, a sweet and gracious man, who is clearly committed to the success of Blue Bee Cider, gave me a tour and run down on theprocess of making cider

Blue Bee Cider

Courtney, who was in constant motion during my visit, displayed an impressive combination of dedicated work ethic…

View original post 299 more words

Bok Choy Stir Fry

4 Jun

The Farm Table Pop-up Market

This recipe comes to you a few days late as we missed Flashback Friday on the blog last week. I promise we weren’t slacking! We were “in the field,” so to speak, taking pictures and working on a future post that will highlight some of the really cool things happening in Richmond that will make all of us proud!

Speaking of cool things going on — The Farm Table is excited to announce that we are expanding to the Hampton Roads area! If you have family and friends that would enjoy receiving a Farm Table box as much as you do, or if you know anyone who might want to become part of our team, please share this with them and contact support@thefarmtable.org. More details coming soon!

We are also having a lot of fun with our Pop-up Markets. Our next market, this Saturday, June 8 from 12:00-4:00pm, will be at Blue Bee Cider in the Manchester District.  We will have fresh local produce, Harvest Hill Farms meats, Quail Cove Cheese and freshly baked goodies from Flour Garden Bakery. Blue Bee Cider will be open for your tasting pleasure from 12-6. Please join us! Details HERE.

Until then, please try this Bok Choy Stir Fry from our May, 2012 newsletter, which features broccoli, snow peas, peppers, and chicken (optional). It is very important to do all of the prep work for this meal before you start cooking, as stir frying relies on being able to move and cook food quickly in a very hot pan. Also, it may seem labor intensive, but once you’ve prepped the vegetables, it cooks very quickly. Delicious!

The Farm Table Bok Choy

Bok Choy Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into strips and lightly dusted with corn starch
  • 1 small onion, halved/thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2-3 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 cup snow peas (optional)
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (separated into medium pieces) and stems (sliced thin), keep them separate
  • 1/2 Tbs finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup red or green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 head of bok choy, sliced into thick ribbons
  • 4 Tbs Hoisin sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat a wok or large, deep, frying pan with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Coat with peanut oil.
  • Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, making sure to cook on all sides. Remove chicken to a bowl, or push aside.
  • Add the onions, celery, broccoli stems, red/green pepper, ginger and garlic and, stirring continuously until onions become translucent, and veggies start to soften. Add more peanut oil if needed (you need to keep the food moving).
  • Add the broccoli florets, snow peas, bok choy. Keep stirring!
  • After about 5 minutes, add 2 Tbs soy sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, Hoisin sauce, and the cornstarch/broth mixture. Add the Chicken back to the mixture.
  • Stir for about 3-5 minutes and allow the mixture to thicken. 
  • Serve immediately over cooked rice.

Blue Bee Cider

16 Dec

Blue Bee Cider

The Farm Table had the opportunity last year to meet Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider, at the 2012 Richmond Earth Day Festival. We’ve enjoyed following the progress of this local business ever since.

Courtney, author of the Cider Apprentice Blog, started blogging about her experiences as an apprentice cidermaker at Albemarle CiderWorks in 2011. Since then, she has started her own urban cidery housed in Richmond’s Old Manchester District.

Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider

This Brite Tank was made in Oregon and shipped to RVA

The Brite Tank was built in Oregon and shipped to RVA

Expelling the juice from the apples

Pressing the apples

I had the pleasure of joining Courtney and her in December during a pressing, and came away from the visit appreciating the making of Blue Bee Cider even more. Courtney’s father, Mel, a sweet and gracious man, who is clearly committed to the success of Blue Bee Cider, gave me a tour and run down on the process of making cider

Blue Bee Cider

Apples just waiting for the magic to happen

Apples just waiting for the magic to happen

Courtney, who was in constant motion during my visit, displayed an impressive combination of dedicated work ethic, good humor, and expertise. Her staff were at ease, and fully engaged in the process of making cider — they all seemed to be having fun, despite a few setbacks when the equipment jammed, or hoses came lose. Courtney, who kept her cool, got everything back on track with a quick sleight of hand.

Courtney Mailey Blue Bee Cider

I lingered a little longer than I intended to — it was satisfying to watch someone in the process of their craft, and Courtney, a true artisan, practices her craft with a relaxed confidence that is exciting to watch.

Courtney, in the process of training staff on identifying the parts of the apple that should be cut out, was giving a tutorial on "stink bugs" and the markings they leave on apples.

Courtney, in the process of training staff on identifying the parts of the apple that should be cut out, was giving a tutorial on the markings left by “stink bugs”.

Courtney with her father, Mel, and staff, tightening a hose that transfers expressed juice into a highly sterile and sealed off bag that is "boxed" for a few weeks before filtering it.

Courtney with her father, Mel, and staff, tightening a hose that pumps extracted juice into a highly sterile and impermeable plastic bag where the juice is “boxed” prior to fermenting it.

Blue Bee Cider

Every part of the apple is used. What's left of the apple goes back to the farmer to feed the goats.

Blue Bee puts every part of the apple to good use. Russell Bell of Ringer Farms shovels what’s left of the apple into a trailer, which goes back to the farm to feed the goats.

The name, Blue Bee Cider came from Courtney’s appreciation for the Blue Orchard Bee, native to Virginia. Blue Orchard Bees are not very social, and do not make honey, but are extremely efficient pollinators of apple blossoms.  Courtney, who noted how hardworking and solitary this type of bee was, decided to brand her budding business after them.

Courtney, whose work is not solitary, but certainly determined, is bottling up her sense of good humor, and the delicious bounty of Virginia for the rest of us to enjoy.

We can certainly raise a glass to that!

IMG_4178

Courtney and her staff  have planted an urban orchard outside her urban cidery, with hopes that it may produce fruit for a future batch of cider.

You can follow Blue Bee Cider on Facebook and Twitter, where Courtney has chronicled the process of opening her cidery. She and her staff have started pressing, and selling the raw juice at her tasting room at 212 W. 6th Street, behind Scoot Richmond. The first two hard ciders will be available in the Spring of 2013, and a third in the Fall of 2013.

We hope to see you there this spring when Blue Bee Cider opens for hard cider tastings and tours.