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Funding bolsters cider operation
There’s a major boost for a Vernon area family wanting to diversify while preserving its agricultural heritage.
BX Press has received $46,451 in federal/provincial funding to demonstrate that adding hard and blended cider to an orchard provides value-added opportunities.
“This makes a huge difference to us,” said Melissa Dobernigg, who runs the East Vernon Road farm with husband Dave.
The goal is to develop a niche market.
“We have hundreds of bins of fruit and we can innovate more with dessert cider,” said Melissa Dobernigg.
Dobernigg says a cidery fits in well with the existing orchard operation because the family can continue to supply the packinghouse with apples while turning unmarketable fruit into a new source of revenue.
And there appears to be a lot of public interest.
“The community has been embracing what we’re doing,” she said.
The $46,451 comes from the Growing Forward program.
Projects funded through the program must have the potential to lead to the commercialization or adoption of innovative products, technologies and practices.
Dobernigg is pleased there is government support for enterprises such as the BX Press because capital enhancements can be extremely costly.
“We’re a farm family and for us, we have to stretch the money when we are trying to try new things,” she said.
The BX Press should be open in May or June.