Dusten Rader/Express staff
Mitch Rogers, owner of Rogers’ Cideryard, LLC, met with officials April 26 at the orchard in Gloversville. From left, Mayor Dayton King, Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare Administrator Leonard Hersh, and Rogers.
By DUSTEN RADER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE — Area residents will soon have the opportunity to taste a brew of hard cider created with apples grown and harvested from an orchard in Gloversville that has gone unused for more than a decade.
The bubbly concoction will be made possible due to a partnership between the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Gloversville and Mitch Rogers, owner of Rogers’ Cideryard, LLC, of Johnstown.
Over the past few weeks Rogers has been pruning the remaining 40 trees in the orchard to maximize their potential for harvest. He estimates that each tree could yield 15-80 gallons, which will help his business significantly since he only uses local apples for his hard cider.
According to Rogers, the most important thing pruning does is open the tree up to wind and sunlight and thin out the number of apples on the tree. Wind and sun prevent bacteria and fungus, while thinning reduces the number of apples but increases the quality of the fruit.
Rogers said it’s likely the trees in the orchard hadn’t been pruned for a dozen years or more. A regular routine of pruning will eventually improve the vigor of the trees and increase the fruit load from year-to-year.
“It’s a nice little orchard,” Rogers said.
Rogers met with Mayor Dayton King, Fulton Center Administrator Leonard Hersh, and Regional Field Marketing Manager for Centers Health William Wohltjen April 26 at the orchard to celebrate the partnership.
“The key to economic success in our area is small business,” Hersh said. “I have a profound respect for farmers, innovators and people that make the American dream happen. We’re really happy to partner alongside you.”
King presented a proclamation to Rogers and Hersh that read: “On this date, April 26, 2017, the Fulton Center and Rogers Family Orchard kicks off the pruning season together on the grounds of Fulton Center in Gloversville, New York.”
Rogers’ Family Orchard, 260 Route 131 in Johnstown, is owned by Mitch’s parents, Todd and Sam Rogers. Mitch said his grandfather Don purchased the orchard in the 1970s, but some of the trees have been producing since the 1940s. The cideryard tasting room is open Friday 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday noon to 9 p.m.