Stories From the Farm
If you have visited Merridale, we may have met! I’m Janet, and you can usually find me in the Farmhouse greeting our guests, meeting with my team, and helping out in the Eatery whenever possible. My partner, Rick and I purchased the Merridale property some twenty years ago and have been working, living, and raising our family here ever since.
My own family is something I am super proud of – and grateful for. I am a proud mother and daughter. I have three amazing children, one incredibly smart and beautiful grandchild, and I am blessed to have not one – but two mothers. To me, being a mom is the most important job that I will ever do, so I suppose it’s not surprising that Merridale is family-run and that my eldest works here. Jason joined the family business when barely out of...
Our heritage cider apple trees produce robust, tannic fruits that transform beautifully into crisp apple ciders, cider-based spirits like our apple cider brandy, chutneys and vinaigrettes. Our honey bees arrive each spring, and the apple blossom honey they produce is used in our Farmhouse Eatery, as well as our Cyser cider. During the...
Hi all, Rick here. I don’t normally do the blog thing, but we just released our first ever Merridale Rhumb and I wanted to take the opportunity to share some behind-the-scenes on what this release is all about.
First, we know you want to know about the name. It's unconventional. But so are we. In navigation, a Rhumb Line, Rhumb, or Loxodrome is an arc that crosses all meridians of longitude at the same angle. That is, a path with constant bearing as measured relative to true or magnetic north. It's a nautical term, and as we all know, the drink of choice at sea is rum... so it felt like a fitting choice. We also love the idea of Rhumb as a metaphor for embracing adventure and finding solace in points of reference along the way.
So…why make rum? Because we like it. And we...
1) You’ll have the most stunning setting
No matter what time of year, the orchard and farm at Merridale is a charmingly beautiful place to take your vows and celebrate with friends and family. In the summer season, long, warm days finish with golden sunlight over the orchard and in the springtime, our apple trees are bursting with fragrant, pink blossoms. In fall and winter, the farm feels like a cozy escape.
Your ceremony and reception, with photo opportunities, are all taken care of in one spot, which makes it easy for you and your guests to enjoy the whole day.
2) We’ll be with you every step of the way
Merridale has been planning weddings for over 15 years. We know that most brides and grooms get nervous when it comes to planning their wedding...
We had so much fun hosting the Cider Harvest Festival in September…we’re doing it again. Only this time, it’s all about the spirits. Introducing: The Craft Spirit Festival at Merridale. On November 3, we’ll be hosting all eleven craft distilleries on Vancouver Island for an evening tasting event where you can sample craft spirits, sip on cocktails, meet the makers, and learn about the art of craft distilling.SO… WHAT MAKES IT CRAFT?
Craft is defined as someone who produces spirits from raw material to final product entirely at one location. BC craft spirits must be made from BC-grown agriculture products, then processed, fermented, aged, and bottled at a single location. They typically cost more to produce because of the quality raw materials, smaller batch sizes, and few...
Harvest season is upon us, and we started juicing on September 20. A bit earlier than usual, but as everyone knows, this summer was a warm one.
1. The bees are the real MVPs
It was an excellent year for the fruit at the farm. The bees were healthy and active which meant a good fertilization of the apple blossoms. A good blossom results in a good fruit set.
We have several hives here at the farm and our bees are an essential part of the operation. We also collect, use, and sell the apple blossom honey from our property.
2. No rain, no problem
We had a relatively normal spring leading into a hot summer, but the lack of rain was not as much of an issue as many may think. In fact, we have found that the addition of water to ripening fruit...
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