Tell us about your growing philosophy.
Have been transitioning from low input IPM to 'almost' organic over the last several years. My orchard needs to be a safe and healthy place for my children to play.
Tell us about your place on Earth.
We grow fruit exclusively for the purpose of fermenting it into hard cider. We are putting trees in the ground as fast as we can to meet the demands of our growing cider business. We have apx 12.5 acres of mature (est. 1987ish) large medium density orchard on deep (30ft), very well drained gravely loam at 1,200 elevation overlooking the Cayuga Inlet Valley in zone 6a as well as 3 acres (est 2002) medium density, 2 acres high density (2011), and 3 acres high density to be planted this year on well drained (with a few wet-ish transition areas), fairly shallow (4-6 ft) silt-loam at 1,200 feet elevation on a steep hillside on the far northern edge of the Northern Appalachian Plateau in zone 5b. We grow over 30 varieties, many of them cider specific, on a wide variety of rootstocks. Our older orchards are freestanding and our new orchards are trellised.
What draws you to growing fruit?
I have a three dimensional love affair with orcharding. First, I find it intellectually engaging. Second, that it is a perennial agricultural ecosystem is important to me philosophically. And third orcharding adds magic to my life.
What holistic innovation keeps your trees rarin' to grow?
I would like to see addressing and limiting fossil fuel consumption in an economically viable way as a core value for holistic orcharding.
What might you change if you could do one thing over again in your orchard?
One thing? Sometimes I feel like everything I've learned about orcharding has been through addressing previous failures.
How do you go about marketing the good fruit?
My husband and I really enjoy crafting hard cider as a expression of terrior and as a way to bring conviviality to place based cuisine.