Orchardist & Cidermaker
I have always had a love for trees which led to us starting an orchard soon after we moved to the farm over 20 years ago. Cidermaking is a natural melding of my engineering and tree passions. So really, the only surprising thing about ending up making cider is that it took me so long to land here. Before becoming a full-time Farmgater, I worked for 30 years engineering in Ottawa’s High Tech sector. There are lots of transferable business skills from that period, though the engineering focus is quite different. Working with family is also different but having them close is a luxury not commonly enjoyed by many in this day and age.
Just like with children, I think it is wise not to have a favourite. I like to open the cider fridge and make an impulsive choice. Thankfully we have enough varieties to have a cider for every state of mind.
Settling in the beautiful Ottawa Valley has guided our choices to live close to the land and to our family. The progression of planting apple trees to harvest and eventually to make cider was followed without a particular plan in place, but by doing what feels right.
Our family members bring many skills to the table. Design and painting have always been passions of mine. Along with degrees in Biology and Education I hold a Bachelor of Fine Art. I am delighted to share my artwork on the cider labels.
As we grow our operations, we have lots of dreams of finding ways to share our farm. We hope to see you here at a cider tasting, music event, moonlight snowshoeing, maple syrup making, wildflower walk, apple harvest and Wassailing.
My go-to cider depends on the time of year. On a hot summer’s day it’s North Road, Mulled Cider to warm up in winter, Wild Child with a spring meal foraged from the forest and Russet Spy on a crisp fall day. For special occasions we open a bottle of Founders’ Reserve.
Orchardist & Cidermaker
You wouldn’t think that a background in geological engineering would help in starting and growing a cidery, but it turns out hardwork and problem solving are always an applicable skill set. I wear a lot of different hats around Farmgate. I find the variety along with creating something with my own hands more satisfying than working on a digital screen. I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work and live in such close proximity to the rest of my family and the natural world.
My favourite cider is our Wild Apple; it’s crisp tartness is uniquely refreshing and makes me think of a beverage from a bygone era.
Please reach out if you want to talk anything cider or transitioning from a professional career to a small/family business.
Orchardist and Cidermaker
I trained to be a master brewer at Olds College, in Alberta, but ultimately made my way back to Ontario to make cider with my family. I still enjoy the experimentation of small-batch brewing, and hope to one day expand Farmgate into the beer world.
My favourite cider is Wild Apple cider because of its strong tartness. The main apples in the wild apple cider comes from an apple tree I used to climb all the time as a child and sit in its branches eating the sour fruit.
Meaghan Dalby Davies
Communications, Marketing & Events
When I was growing up, I certainly didn’t think cider was in my future! I married into the wonderful Davies family, and bring my event planning, project management and communication skills to Farmgate (I leave the cider making to the professionals). My formal education led me to work in the cultural heritage sector where a typical day could include leading an historical tour, creating an educational program, planning a public event, and marketing on social media. All good skills to bring to a family business.
Jacob and I got married at Farmgate in 2020, and since then I've coordinated a number of weddings here. I am definitely biased, but it's a pretty magical place to celebrate your love!
My favourite cider changes all the time, but I don’t think you can go wrong with our Rhubarb Estate Cider.
Production and Sales Specialist
When I joined the Farmgate team in 2023, I felt that I had landed where I belong. There are lots of people to greet, tours to guide, orchards to patrol, my own porch to lounge on and a river to swim in - a lifestyle that has suited me perfectly. I have big paws of the former Farmgate Goldens to fill but I feel I am up to the challenge.
Photos by Krystal Dalby Photography
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