Saturday, November 27, 2010

Richter's Orchard, Northport, NY

This morning we came across another cider mill, Richter's Orchard, a small out of the way 20 acre farm that grows and presses its own apples.  They have twenty different varieties of apples and this includes an orchard of Asian apple pears.  Run by brothers Andrew and Louis Amsler, they press their own apple cider right on site between October to May.  Louis brought us around and showed us the press and explained the making of cider.

If you can see me, I'm sitting on the tractor getting ready to head out to the orchard.

The cider mill was established in 1900 by Frederick W. Richter who arrived in the United States in 1871 with a dream of planting his own apple orchard, which he pursued after working with confections for 29 years.  He moved to Northport where everything was just right to start his own and Richter's Orchard was born.

The present owners, Andy and Lou Amsler had taken over from their father who, after graduating from Farmingdale Agricultural College in 1934, began working for Mr. Richter the same year. Mr. Amsler leased the orchard from Mr. Richter three years later and operated it on his own.

The store.  The mill is on the right.

The attack on Pearl Harbor had left an impression on Mr. Amsler so much so that he joined the Navy and became a Sea Bee stationed in the South Pacific..  Upon his return in 1946, he bought the farm from Mr. Richter and married Mrs. Amsler.  After Mr. Richter's death, they had the hard task of running the orchard, while raising three sons. Out of respect for Mr. Richter, the Amsler family kept the name Richter's Orchard as a memorial to him.

When the Amsler brothers finished their stint at Cornell University College of Agriculture, they took over the business in 1979 after their parents retired. You can still spot them on busy days at the farm to help out Andy and Lou. 

Apple Press

You can buy some homemade apple cinnamon pancake mix, mulling spices, apple crisp mix, apple bread mix and double apple muffin mix.  Their small store is filled to the brim with all kinds of apples and great tasting cider that can be bought by the gallon or half gallon. Andy and Lou are great to talk and reminisce with.  While touring, we met Chipper and discovered that he loved Asian apple pears.
So if you're ever on Pulaski Road in Northport, check out this lovely little family run farm. The house and the outbuildings (the original cider press started out in the stable) date from the 1900's.  Also stop in and say hello to Andy and Lou.  Two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

The road leading up to the mill
The picture below is the road that leads up to the farm.  The orchards are on either side of the road.  In this picture, the family house is on the left and the cider mill and press are on the right.  The store, which used to be the stable, is the middle building. 

They are open from August to May, but apple pressing begins in October.  They are closed on Tuesdays after January 1.
Here are two links that I found, one has a review and the other is an article about the place.


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