Tell us about your growing philosophy.
We started out growing apples organically, but after eight years of experience we decided to change our approach to Bio-Intensive.
Tell us about your place on Earth.
In 2002, we took over an overgrown/abandoned apple orchard of 650 trees with typical commercial varieties like Macs and Cortland. We now have almost 3,000 trees, 70+ varieties, of which 85% are cider apple varieties. We also have European & Asian Pears, European Plums & Raspberries. Our orchard is in Zone 5B.
What draws you to growing fruit?
When I started pruning my old trees, many winters ago, I would always turn around to see who was behind me, and realized that these intricate, wrinkly and fascinating apple trees, were giving me the illusion of people moving. As simple as it sounds, I planted new trees to be able to see how they grow and how they will look like in 20 years under my stewardship.
What holistic innovation keeps your trees rarin' to grow?
At the beginning was the challenge of growing sweet apple organically (not easy). Now it is the challenge of growing lots of different varieties of mostly cider apples (with lots of problems/diseases) in the cleanest/respectful way possible.
What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?
My orchard was planted on a flat and very rocky land... If I could choose the location of my own orchard again, I would look for a hill side well drained with NO ROCKS with different exposure. But hey…..you can't have everything in life, so I'm happy where I am.
Planting one variety per row instead of the madness I created would also help!
How do you go about marketing the good fruit?
I don’t market our fruit—it speaks on it’s own.