Shelburne Orchards

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harvest wind down…

The end of harvest season is always such a mix of emotions for me. We still have a ways to go yet I can feel in my bones the ache and pull on me to stop!! My reluctance for “one more thing to do”… anything I don’t really have to do right now… gets put on the “to do later list”… there are many final decisions yet to make, like,

What apples get picked and which are left for pick your own…

Which of the remaining cider bins go toward Ginger Jack and which are saved and fermented for brandy.

If we leave apples on the trees for “pick your own”, will they hang on one more weekend?…

If the apples are gone in the trees before next weekend, do we still order the full palette of donut mix?…

All in all it’s been a fantastic year for us… maybe… best ever… It’s a crazy business I’m in where I work a full year before we get a paycheck… and It’s the wizard of Oz behind the white sheet pulling levers that determines how much I get paid… and benefits… Yes I get benefits like… Seeing so many people, mostly young families, come and pick and swing and laugh… the orchard is full of laughing all season… I get to have festivals and have all my friends come bask in the fruit of this wonderful place… I get to live here after everyone has gone and the orchard gets quiet again… I get to work with all the wonderful people that help me make it all happen year after year… I get to live here with my family… and my wife puts up with me and listens patiently while I go on and on about everything that happened that day… I think every year during this “harvest wind down … I especially get the fullness of my life and how really lucky a man I am…

Nick

Monday, October 1, 2012

We are not an organic orchard

We are not an Organic apple orchard. We did however have at one point almost half the orchard certified organic and at least 10 acres for over 20 years. My goal was to eventually convert the whole orchard… I was never able to make it sustainable… I lost money every year and some years had no crop at all… We were part of a network of organic apple growers around New England that met every year and shared our collective experiences. This was my interest and passion for most of my adult life, yet in the end I had to make the decision between either loosing my business or changing my growing program. We now have a low spray program that I feel is the next best to organic and we are still here in the middle of our beautiful orchard and home…

Nick