Overlooking the idyllic Hardangerfjord in west Norway lies Spildegarden, a farm focusing on apple cider and juice production, freshly baked goods, and other homemade delicacies. Like many historic farms in Norway, Spildegarden has been in the family for generations. Since 1997, Geir Henning Spilde has been running the farm with his wife Jane. As a trained chef, Spilde ‘s goal is to make Spildegarden a centre for locally produced food and drink.

The historic farm Spildegarden began as a dairy farm with fruit as a secondary focus. However, Geir Spilde’s father, Arnvid, always felt that growing fruit was the area on the farm that engaged him the most. Today, Spildegarden has over 50 varieties of fruit, including apples, plums, and berries, with an annual production of 80 tons of apples.

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

Lunch in the garden at Spildegarden.

The farm experiments with planting new and different varieties of fruit to create fresh and exciting flavours. It also combines apple juice with other fruits. “Our berry juice, for example, should taste of the berries we use and is balanced with apples instead of sugar or other additives,” says Spilde.

Spildegarden processes 50,000 litres of juice and cider a year, delivering products to restaurants and speciality markets throughout Norway. The cider and juice can also be found on the menu at the farm’s restaurant on-site.

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

Lunch served in Spildegarden’s farm restaurant.

A natural production process creates a superior product

The cider at Spildegarden is made without adding yeast. The fermentation process happens naturally at low temperatures and takes about six months. Spilde and his team make several different types of cider, but currently have six varieties, from dry to sweet. “Cider goes very well with all kinds of food, but really stands out when served with fish and shellfish,” he says. “And cider is, of course, delicious on its own or as an aperitif.”

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

The view over the fjord at Spildegarden.

The farm also offers cider tastings to visitors. Here, cider enthusiasts can taste a number of different ciders with a few snacks on the side. Alternatively, tastings can be combined with a three to four-course dinner. The tastings also include storytelling and a visit to the production site, which is close to the historic old eldhus, one of few original buildings left on the farm. The eldhus also houses the farm restaurant which was established in 2021, which can also be booked for meetings and special events. As a trained chef, Spilde acts as head chef in the restaurant.

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

Outside the farm shop at Spildegarden.

After the cider tasting, visitors are welcome to check out Spildegarden’s farm shop with everything from apple cider and juice, to jams and locally produced cured meats, cheese, and beer. There is also a bakery focusing on making sourdough bread, cinnamon buns and, of course, apple cake.

Spilde finds that running Spildegarden together with his family is highly rewarding. “With the location by the fjord, the beautiful nature, and locally produced food and drink…it’s something people are interested in and want to experience,” he reflects. “With our enthusiasm for the place, our products are easy to sell.”

Cider and juice creation is a labour of family love at Spildegarden

Wearing traditional Norwegian dress at Spildegarden.

Web: www.spildegarden.no
Instagram: @spildegarden

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