Rockbridge Cider Vinegar is a small agricultural business. We are committed to a nature-centered balance between expanding our business and our farm’s ecological limits. We are in a respectful partnership with our land and exploiting it for profit is not an option.
Profits are important (without making a profit the business wouldn’t last long), but making a profit is not why Eva and I started Rockbridge Cider Vinegar. Our mission was to handcraft high quality apple cider vinegar and to nurture earth-friendly orchards. Now that mission is evolving and expanding to include medicinal and culinary herbs.
I’m talking about our recent partnership with House Mountain Herb Farm (HMHF). HMHF and Rockbridge Cider Vinegar are working together to grow a variety of medicinal and culinary herbs on the farm. That partnership is progressing nicely.
The new Hoop Greenhouse was completed in March and protected the tender herb seedlings in the early Spring. The danger of a hard killing frost is behind us and the seedlings are now being planted out in the lovingly prepared garden beds. A solar powered irrigation system that draws water from our spring-fed stream will be installed before the dry spell that usually arrives around here in July and August.
We bought a stainless-steel herb grinder to aid in the process of crafting a variety of herb-infused apple cider vinegars. But lots of experimenting with vinegar/herb combinations will need to happen before we’re ready to introduce something we are proud of. We hope to offer a selection of herb-infused vinegars by the end of this year, or early next year. Bringing healthy home-grown food to market takes a long time!
We think that expanding into herb-infused ACV will increase our profits, but that is not why we partnered with House Mountain Herb Farm. The herbs grown on our farm will help to increase the number and variety of wild pollinators. The new organic herb garden beds will improve the soil. The herb plants are beautiful in themselves and natural beauty is essential to happiness on our farm. And most importantly, we will be offering another nutrient-rich, handcrafted product for our friends, neighbors and patrons to enjoy.