Land and Family
I'm Nick, the owner of the orchard. I was born here in 1950, I have been living here in these apple trees all my life. My father is 93 years old and we still share the seasons of this wonderful orchard together. He bought the orchard from Albert Thomson in the 1950s, we were neighbors. There were 500 trees then, by the 1970's My father had grown the orchard to 2000 trees. My childhood was full of time spent with my dad in the orchard and his love for it filled me with a wonder that is still with me. Back in those days we sent all our apples to the Shoreham apple packing coop, where they were stored, sorted, packaged and sold. In the span of years I have been running the orchard, we have continued to grow the orchard to now I think over 6000 trees, we sell 90% of our apples right here off the farm. Plus we make ginger cider, ginger jack, cider vinegar, cider donuts and apple brandy. Life is good, and I have the best crew of people working here with me.. I could never do any of this without their help, wisdom, love and encouragement.
Wow, what a crew we have. Seriously, I don't know how we got so lucky!
Nick and Terry are the two people who keep the orchard going all year long. They've been working here together for almost 40 years!
Kelly is our bookkeeping superstar, helping us additionally with marketing, events, and emotional and moral support when needed.
Rob, Tina, Moriah and Abe are not only a part of the Orchard family, but are an integral part in making the magic happen both during the season and throughout the year after our gates are closed, including, of course, distilling in the winter time.
Last but not least, a whole team comes in during harvest to make doughnuts and pies, press and jug cider, work at the store and PYO cart, and the zillions of other things that make the orchard hop during the autumn.
Our growing program is “Low Spray.".
What this actually means is that I’ve taken the more than 30 years of my experience growing apples from conventional to organic and everything in between and come up with an ever changing approach to apple growing that both allows me to stay in business, and continue to provide the most ecologically friendly, safe eating and cooking apples. I use IPM (Integrated Pest Management) to follow the life cycles of all of the pests in the orchard so that I can target what is there and exactly when I need to.
I wish the whole orchard could be organic. I’ve spent many years trying, but I have yet to find a way of making it sustainable.
In 1997, we received the first annual Sustainable Agriculture Farm of the Year award. This award was sponsored by the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Round Table, with representatives from NOFA Vermont, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Women's Agricultural Network, and the Vermont Department of Agriculture. It was an honor to receive this praise from the governor. Part of the criteria is our commitment to the development of low spray, organic practices, and the educational programs we have provided throughout the state.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, please don’t miss out on a visit to Shelburne Orchards! We have a unique setting with a view from the orchard out over Lake Champlain. We encourage you to bring a picnic, bring the family, sit back, take a deep breath, and relax.
Seasonal Hours - September 1st to late October
Monday – Friday 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Shelburne Orchards Newsletter
We try our best to keep everyone up to date on the events at the orchard throughout the year, but our newsletter is the best way, and at times the only way to be informed about the various events that we have, like the different picking times for peaches and sour cherries, and our apple tree sale in the spring. This newsletter will let you know when our "Dead Bird" brandy is released in 2017. Yes, this is a good newsletter to be getting!