Megan Humphrey has worked for me at the orchard for 13 years. She has single-handedly promoted the orchard and organized all the festivals during her time here. She is organized, professional, community oriented, hard working, lovely, talented, warm-hearted and beautiful.. It's been a huge privilege having her working for me. I can't thank her enough! The orchard would not be where it is today without the work and personal integrity she has devoted to her work here. I love you Megs! Thank you thank you thank you!! Nick
The first McIntosh apple tree came from a farm in Dundas County in Ottawa Canadas in 1811. John McIntosh and his wife found the tree as a sapling growing in the woods near their farm. The apples were so good they moved the tree near their home and enjoyed the apples for years. John's son Allen learned how to graft and propagated the tree in a small nursery. The original tree lived till 1910, the year our first McIntosh trees were planted here at Shelburne Orchards. The rest is history, It's been The most popular apple in the north east ever since. More people come to the orchard looking for McIntosh than any other variety. To this day, it's still my favorite. It does, however, have a season, from early September to late October. There are those people who want them sour, and sour they are at first. Throughout the two-month season they turn from sour to sweet, and it's in this time that McIntosh lovers revel in their glory. When this apple is both sweet and sour at the same time, in my estimation, It's in a class of it's own for both eating and pie making. In our 13 years of hosting Vermont's biggest and most attended apple pie contest, McIntosh is the apple that wins first prize 90% of the time. So, with all the new popular apple varieties now available in stores everywhere, I want to give this apple it's rightful recognition. Thank you John McIntoh for giving us this spectacular apple. Nick
Yes, It's true, Last year was the last Food Fest after 13 years. The original idea was to get the orchard on the map so to speak and promote local agriculture. All this has happened beautifully. Our intention was never to create such a big event, yet as it grew we loved everybody's enthusiasm and totally enjoyed the big crowds of wonderful people who came. The actual success of the food fest is why we are stopping, It turned into something more than what we wanted to host here in the orchard.. Myself along with the people who work here for me were getting burned out by the event right when our apple harvest is starting. This is the week we would be gearing up for the festival, we are all breathing a lot easier and focusing on a huge beautiful apple crop. So be sure to come down, the apples are ready for picking, the cider is flowing, and the donuts are best ever! .. Nick
I'm not sure why we have peaches this year with the winter we just had. 17 below zero is the coldest it got here and that is usually cold enough to freeze the peach buds. In spite of those cold spells, we have a good crop coming. The branches were so loaded that I had to hand thin nearly every tree. The first variety is looking like a mid-August harvest. We open the orchard for "pick your own" peaches on the exact moment for perfect tree ripened picking. It can be only a two hour moment, so be sure to be signed up on our email newsletter. We will send out a notice that will say something like "peach picking Sunday 11 am. to 1 pm." This means that you need to be there BY 11 am. The gates will close at 11 am. sharp. So then we can all relax and go to the business of picking awesome peaches. ..Nick
I have to keep following some kind of crazy path that requires about half map reading and half instinct, following my nose at the same time looking in the rearview mirror. Making brandy and waiting for it to age is going to school and getting a report card when I'm 90 years old.. So it goes.. We will all see. Meanwhile the suspense is wonderful.. and we can all dream of tasty bandy in our future.. Nick https://youtu.be/QuZA4y38ZAI
All the dormant apple trees just starting to feel tiny sensations in their root hairs.. slowly waking to the movement of the sun.. the snow recedes, birds sing, the ice creaks and moans on the lake.. I can feel energy rising in my blood.. it's always the same for me, every spring It happens. I'm 64 years old, Ive been doing this all my life, and I can hardly contain the energy that I wake up with. It really doesn't make any sense.. so much to do, so many things can go wrong, totally out of my control.. yet, here I am again at the beginning of another apple growing season… still here!!