Greetings to all! I've to admit that it has been quite some time since I've send actually a news letter out. With some of you I've been in touch but with some not at all. Time to change that seems to me. I'll separate the letter into few "categories" so it is more easy to go through that. It will be short overview of history, present and future. As usually I've some activities going on which you may find interesting and support them if you like, they are by the end so just for the patient ones.
Bit of History
Most of you do realize that I don't live in Korea anymore. I left the country in autumn 2016 for Europe, it was hard, I've became a single man again (and I still am). I've decided to learn more about cider making so I spend the 2016 apple harvest season in Cotentin, Normandie, France. I've helped Christophe Bouvet, patron of Ferme du Vastel, who showed me the usual to do rituals. During this stay I've decided that I would actually like to stay in the region for bit longer. Well Spring 2020 and I'm still here. I've learned the language, completing a half year course of French at l'Espace Temps Cherbourg, I was in the class with emigrants how came to France for better future, similar like when I've studied back in Korea the language with the foreign workers and foreign wifes. In this case I had a chance to meet people from Sudan, Syria, Ivory Cost and many more. I've successfully completed the course and after that I've been lucky enough to find a job and worked in an electronic cigarette business for over a year with now famous Petit Vapoteur. During this time I've managed to be accepted into the prestigious cider formation at le Robillard. Le Robillard is currently the only place on the world, where you can take complete specialized training to become cidrie and it was actually what I've been here after since beginning or at least since I learned about it's existence. Ten months of combined theory, practical training and pretty though final exams and voilà, I became certified "cidrier", hurraaaa!
The last autumn, therefore the 2019, I have started my fourth cider season and actually also my first commercial one. Lets be honest about that, the amount of time which I'm spending on "bureaucratie" is horrible but it has to be done. I'm setting up my professional cider atelier and also micro-entreprise business entity. I've successfully finished the first part of the season, harvesting and transforming around 15 tonnes of apples resulting in around 95 hl (9 500 l) of apple juice. This cost me around 5 000€. Now over the winter I've managed quite well to conduct the fermentation and got the ciders close to the bottling. At the moment I think that I can bottle around 5 000 l or bit more of cider. I estimate it will cost me around 5 000€.I'm looking for people to support this activity by crowd sourcing campaign, investing and by pre-buying the product, more info at the end of the email as promised. I'm asking friends first and I hope that it will suffice so I do not have to go out from my friend circle.
Now bit about recent travelling. I wish I could say I travel a lot but alas, from my point of view nope, I either do not have money or time or both. The cider projects has been claiming nearly all what I get over the past years. I'd a chance to visit Eunha in Korea in 2018 and help her to finish her restaurant, that was lovely. We had a really nice time this winter doing 36c3 in Leipzig with fhb, visiting afterwards Czech Republic, Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Kout na Šumavě of course and after that we have travelled France. We did bit of the West coast and went all the way South to Marseille, especially the Mediterrean coast was lovely. I had also business trip few weeks ago to UK for cider technology as an external expert visiting Rich's Cidrerie, cidrerie Wilkins and for second time Hereford's Cider Museum. Unfortunately it did not lead to a contract or job proposal.
Activities and call for help
- bottling my cider, Feburary, March possibly April 2020. Here I need to find people who would help me to finance it and who would be OK to help me to make it happen, hands on deck. I've around 5 000 l of fine cider for bottling and nearly another 5 000 l for distillation. I need to get around 5 000€ to make it happen. I'm considering offering to pay it off within one and half years, interest 2% in cash and 2% in product, so 4% in total per year, asking to wait for first payment at least for first six months, all paid back within year and half. I hope it sounds interesting. If it does, please get in touch, I really need your help with this and every little helps. If you think I should be more generous get in touch too, I want to have same conditions for everyone, fair play. If people say that they are OK with less benefit, than it is fine with me, person per person. I've been freezing my ass here sleeping in car and caravan without heating for over three years to make this happen and I'm so close! Some of you are aware that financially I had issues to return money in the past on time, that is true, the years on the road were lovely but hard. However I'm now more stable and also even before, I always paid what I've promised at the end. This time I plan to do it on time. I would actually like to build this scheme up and repeat it in the future so keeping it under the control is mandatory.
- putting up my personal pages. They have been down for years and it is time to set this right. If you have any experience with this great, I’m fine with basic media wiki set up and pay for the cloud server.
- Kvas 2020, 24-26/4. It will be already third Kvas, the first being in the autumn 2017, and second last year in the spring. Kvas means "to ferment" in Slavic languages and that is what it is about. People who do already ferment or have really interest to start and join the movement are the ones who we are looking for. We are considering to go more and more in the direction of "fermentation community" event, so less general public and more "us". For more info please check the link. I should be able to take care about an accommodation at least for some of you, especially the ones who are willing to volunteer to help up with the event, presenters and volunteers first.
- I should be present at Cider World Frankfurt, which happens on 18-19th of April in, well Frankfurt. I will be just a visitor but if you are around please let me know so we can meet.
- apple harvesting and transformation, season 2020, September till December. It seems more and more that I will do this season in France. I'll be looking for both people helping me to harvest and process the apples, quite fun activity if it is just for few to several days. Also I will be looking for more financial support, because I estimate that the cider season 2020, whole season, will cost me again around 10 000 eu which I do not have a chance to safe in advance. 2021 season should be better because I should get money from selling the cider from 2019 season. It is the first two season which are hard.
- Kleť 17/11. If all goes well I should be visiting Ceske Budejovice on this date to participate on yearly walking trip to near by mountain Klet, which is organized by Faculty of Science (formally Biological faculty which I've studied). This is a great opportunity to chill out, talk and also around these days to get 2019 ciders which you may buy from me, it’s OK to visit few places around Czech Republic to do this.
- 37c3 - Chaos Computer Club Congress, 27-30th of December, event location not known yet but I will be there with Food Hacking Base (fhb) team, probiotic drinks and my ciders of course.
Here you can find all the important info about my crowdsourcing campaign.