Born into an military family, Nate moved around the country from an early age. Six of his most formative years were spent in upstate New York surrounded by lakes, rivers, and orchards. One of his earliest business ventures found him climbing the neighbor's apple tree and selling the produce on the corner. He made a record breaking $3 and and change. Somewhere between weekly autumn trips to the cidery and orchard and selling apples on the corner of an Air Force base road, the the orchardist seed was planted. Years later, he returned to New England to learn how to be a diverse organic farmer. He loved working outside, and growing food, but was unsure of the path it was taking him. Then it hit him. While picking weeds and thinning a row of carrots, he realized he wanted to grow apples and perennial fruits. From there, he and his wife Tracy built an idea out of their interests and desires. He has been a long time brewer and student of the fermentation process, so it seemed natural to intertwine the paths. Here he is, a Keepsake Cider-Maker.
Tracy Jonkman grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin. She met Nate years ago while working on a ranch in Colorado and together they returned to the Midwest where their dream of starting an orchard and farm began. When not with their two children, Tristan and Fiona, or working in the orchard and cidery, she is a physician in emergency medicine.
Tristan likes being an "orchard farmer". He loves the "frogs all around" the farm. His favorite thing to do in the orchard is picking and eating the apples. He loves making sweet cider in the fall "because its yummy"
Fiona is starting to get the hang of things around the orchard and cidery. She like helping with any spraying with the hose jobs. She also keeps Mom and Dad strong by constantly asking to be carried, "Up, please!"
Bert came with the farm, and boy we are glad he did. he is the best dog we have ever known. Independent yet loving. Gentle yet strong. He keeps the rodents away from the orchard and accompanies us during workdays under the trees. Although he is not allowed in the cidery, there have been many a late night when the cider maker have found Bert waiting outside the cidery door.