Hardscrabble Cider Tastings at Harvest Moon
Purely Local Cider
Local apples, live music, BBQ, apple cider and beer are all on tap at the Hardscrabble Cider Tastings at Harvest Moon in North Salem, New York. Locally grown apples from Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard are fermented onsite and available for tastings and sale at these fun tasting weekend events this summer.
“We are basically looking to provide our customers with a fun, friendly, social atmosphere—it’s for bringing people together and sharing our beautiful location. We think spending time with your neighbors is a really important part of society. It’s a great feeling to be able to walk around the patio—hard cider in hand—and chat with locals in a more laid back setting than the farm store,” says Christine Covino, Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard’s general manager.
The weather-dependent Saturday tastings—which will run through August—start up at 5 p.m. with the farm store closing at 6 p.m. and the fun continuing until 9 p.m. in the tasting room and on the outdoor patio with its views of the orchard and garden. Live music will be offered from 6-8 p.m. on Saturdays. The tasting room is open from noon to 9 p.m. on Fridays and normal Harvest Moon business hours during the rest of the week.
In addition to being the co-founders and owners of the Hardscrabble Cider micro farm-cidery, Alex, Kevin and Ben Covino are the sons of Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard’s owners, Rob and Ursula Covino. Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard received its farm winery license in 2015 and now produces farm-grown and -crafted fermented hard cider under the Hardscrabble Cider label. The farm ensures that all ingredients are grown and harvested locally in the state of New York.
The Covino family, which has a history in commercial tree farming, acquired the local apple orchard in early 2011. Alex, Kevin and Ben Covino, having all recently graduated with horticulture degrees from the University of Rhode Island, immediately began revamping the farm by planting thousands of apple whips and consolidating for more growing space, explains Christine Covino.
From growing, picking and cleaning the apples to pressing, fermenting and bottling the final product, all stages of the process to create the recently launched Hardscrabble Cider brand take place on the farm. The cider includes a blend of all 10 apple varieties grown on the farm.
The tasting room, which is located within the Harvest Moon farm store, gives off an old farm vibe with exposed brick and barn wood reclaimed by the Covino brothers themselves from their own upstate farm in Hillsdale, New York. For those that want more than cider, light fare and bottles of small batch whiskeys, bourbons, vodkas, gins, wines, beers and other New York offerings are also offered.
In addition to wines, liquors and beers, the farm store also carries organically-grown fruits and vegetables, chicken and quail eggs, and grass-fed beef and turkey. Local dairy products, maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies, cider doughnuts and fresh-baked pies are also available.
For more info, call 914.485.1210 or visit HardscrabbleCiderNY.com. Location: 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem, NY.