Rosie was our Jack Russell and used to help me plant the orchard. A brilliant little dog who’s name lives on.
Why the name Triple D? Well, the farm is called ‘Dafarn Dywyrch’ which means Turf Tavern. About 150 years ago it was a pretty important Farm and Inn, one of many on the A5104/A525 roads, a Drovers Inn. Triple D then, stands for ‘Drovers at Dafarn Dywyrch’
The farm and Tavern was part of the Watkin Williams-Wynn estate and back in 1795 it was known as the ‘Cross Foxes’.
Dafarn Dywyrch was mentioned by Charles Darwin, whilst on an archeological tour of North Wales. George Borrow called in to Dafarn Dywyrch for ‘good ale and cheese’ whilst writing his travel epic ‘Wild Wales’ in 1862. In fact he wrote about an argument he had with an ancestor of mine!
Anyway, after my initial 5 gallons of cider made in 2005, I started planting up cider orchards. We now have over 1000 standard apple trees made up of 69 different varieties, all trying their best to cling on at 1000 feet above sea level. I have now got a feel for those apple varieties that work well up here (and the ones that rather wish they lived further South).
Cider making has taken over and the cider is made by pressing apples to get juice. In fact, I think our cider is about as ‘traditional’ and ‘farmhouse’ as you can get. I have seen big old boys brought to tears after one sip, because they’ve been transported back in time to when they were lads working in the hay harvest… very moving.
Interesting to think the farm is back to supplying cider to new-age drovers… People aren’t moving cattle and sheep about quite so much these days, but it’s still well worth calling in here now and again if you are passing!