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grower profile:

Sourwood Mountain Orchard

Proctor, Vermont

Jon Place

Jon Place
Tell us about your growing philosophy.

We adhere to Biodynamic and Holistic tenets.  Our goal is to grow nutritious fruits in a way that will enrich the health of our family, our community, and the land.  We do not use fungicides but hope to create disease resistance and vigor with lots of compost, cover crops, wood chips, BD preps including tree paste, neem oil, worm casting tea, kaolin, BT, rock dusts, companion plants, presence of pigs, chickens, and other livestock.

Tell us about your place on Earth.

Proctor, Vermont - Rutland County. Zone 5. We are cultivating 3-5 acres: 1/3rd full size apple trees, 2/3rds European pear, 150 grapevines (fresh eating/juice). All trees & vines are infants 3-6 years old. 

What draws you to growing fruit?

I want to make the world a better place, starting with the ground up.  I want to honor, cherish, and nourish the gifts offered every day, the gifts that sustain life, so that they my circle around ten-fold for others to share again and again and again.  Peace!

What holistic innovation keeps your trees rarin' to grow?

My primary goal is to incorporate these "core values" with all that we grow and learn how to make it work.  Once I accomplish that goal, I will work to showcase the effectiveness of these holistic applications.

What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?

I wish I started a long time ago, avoided the high scab / fireblight prone fruit trees.  With the grapes, I wish we selected more disease resistant varieties as well, especially in regard to "Black Rot" and Anthracnose.

How do you go about marketing the good fruit?

Currently word of mouth, some flyers, and a local listing in the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link annual "Grower's Guide"

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