15th Annual Heirloom Apple Day- Sun, Oct 8, 9-5

Heirloom Apple Day at Scott Farm Heirloom Apple Day is the one day each harvest season when we introduce the flavors, textures, and history of heirloom apples to our guests. Ezekiel Goodband, the Scott Farm Orchardist, will offer lectures at 10 a.m., 12 noon,and 2 p.m. inside the event room, where seating is available.  Zeke will offer free samples while telling stories about his favorite in-season varieties.  Freshly pressed that morning, our heirloom apple cider is blended with a variety of rare apples and will be available in recyclable half gallon and quart  glass jars. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Scott Farm Market has a wide selection of heirloom apples to choose from, frozen pies ready for baking, Vermont cheeses, and other locally made products. Oven-fired pizza topped with heirloom apples and local cheeses  prepared by Rigani Wood-fired Pizza, will be available to enjoy at our picnic tables overlooking the Farm’s scenic ponds and mini-covered bridge.  Whetstone Ciderworks will have hard cider samplings and bottles for sale.  Cider maker Jason MacArthur uses many of Scott Farm’s heirloom cider apples in their quality hard cider. The event is free and open to all.

Heirloom Apple Pies -Sat, Oct 21, 10-1

ApplePiesTackle “pie dough anxiety” with the Queen of Tarts, Pastry Chef Laurel Roberts Johnson! From 10am-1pm, learn to make flaky pie dough and bake an apple pie with our heirlooms. Take home your pie, dough, and a tote for of heirloom baking apples.  The cost of the workshop is $50 and registration is required.

Register Now

On-the-Farm Apple Harvest Dinner- Sat, Oct 28, 6 pm

heirloom apple dinner at Scott Farm OrchardThe Scott Farm and Vermont Fresh Network will co-host our 10th annual harvest dinner at the farm’s apple barn. The 5-course meal showcases our delicious heirloom apples and cider and other local foods prepared by Chef Tristan Toleno of Entera Catering in Brattleboro.  BYOB.  Dinner is $50. per person.  Make your reservations early, the dinner sells out fast!

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Holiday Harvest Pie Workshop -Sat, Nov 11, 10-1

holiday pie makingThe Queen Tarts, Pastry Chef Laurel Roberts Johnson, returns to Scott Farm to guide participants in making the quintessential holiday pie with our crisp apples, sweet pears and tart quince poached in cider and honey, all tucked into a flaky pastry crust. Take home your pie, dough, and a mixed tote of apples, pears and quince. Cost is $50 per person.

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Annual Fruit Tree Sale, May 6th

IMG_4499Scott Farm will hold its 16th annual Fruit Tree and Perennial Plant Sale on May 6th from 9am – 1pm.  The sale will feature the best quality bare root trees available and potted perennials.  Zeke Goodband, the orchardist at Scott Farm, will answer any plant growing questions and provide sage advice on planting and tree care throughout each day.  For information on the varieties and pricing, look under “The Farm” tab on our home page.  Any questions, give us a call!

Heirloom Apple Gift Boxes

img_1551Our Heirloom Apple Gift Box sales are now closed for the 2016 season.  We sincerely appreciate your interest in our heirloom apples and hope we will hear from you again when we are in season. Thank you for helping to make this a successful year!

Summer Apples

The summer apples are now ripening. We’ll do several pickings over the next few weeks as these apples ripen in waves on the trees. These early apples used to be very popular, almost every farm had a Yellow Transparent, Red Astrakan or Lowland Raspberry tree. These apples were like daffodils, fiddleheads or rhubarb, the first new apples of the season, a harbinger of the cascade of fruit to come as summer waned and autumn arrived. People of my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ generations did not have the luxury of fresh fruit year round; the only apples available at that time of year would be dried or the last apples in the bottom of a barrel in the root cellar.

These apples were originally from Russia or Central Asia, they are on the tart side, good for sauce and some people swear an Astrakan pie is the best to be had. We warn people that these are soft apples but still, we’ve had disappointed customers, expecting the breaking flesh of a Granny Smith or Honey Crisp.

We grow these apples not for widespread sale or great quantity or to compete with the flood of peaches, plums and melons ready at this time. We are growing them for the few people each year that drive for hours to get here and when they arrive tell us that they’ve looked all over for these apples; their grandparents had an old tree and they remember gathering windfalls as a child or the sauce their grandmother made.

Aside from these people, the most enthusiastic fans of these apples are my pigs. I bring a bucket of windfalls home every other day and feed them out; they love them. The juice runs down their chins, they dance and spin around in tight little circles, they almost giggle with delight. These are young pigs, they don’t know what flavors will be coming to their trough in the coming months of the harvest; the crisp Gravensteins, the pineapple flavor of the Lamb Abbey Pearmains, the pear flavored Cox’s Orange Pippins and Hudson’s Golden Gems, the sprightly flavored Reinettes and Spitzenburgs. They become connoisseurs of fine heirloom apples, they become pomological snobs as they turn up their snouts and tip over the trough when offered Honey Crisp or Mc Intosh.

Little do the produce buyers know that, when I tell them the Ananas Reinettes are especially flavorful this year, I’m basing my recommendation not only on my own pallet and experience but also on the windmill twirling of curly tails, the look of rapture in porcine eyes and the satisfied grunts of my discerning consultants.

Zeke Goodband

July 30, 2013

The mountains will sing and the trees clap their hands……..

Everyday now it is a little greener, all the different shades of green on the hillsides and fields, the lushness of Spring. At home we’re just about to let the sheep and their new lambs out on pasture with the just hatched goslings waddling in between.

I’m almost finished planting new trees, more quince, Elephant Heart and Ume plums, St. Cecillia, Reinette Clochard, Pomme Gris, Irish Peach and Blehiem Orange apples. I’ve grafted more Opalescent and added James Grieve apples. The beekeepers, Jodi and Dean Turner have brought the first hives into the orchard just as the plums and peaches reach full bloom; apricots have already bloomed, the last petals still attracting bees. The apples are trembling on the edge of bloom with Hewes Virginia and Duchess of Oldenburg, Astrakan and Roxbury Russet leading the way. The bees will work in a frenzy from now until close to the end of May when the Northern Spy, Kingston Blacks, D’Arcy Spice apples, the quince and medlars bloom. This season we’ll have a snowball bloom, the trees will be completely covered in blossoms, the air will be saturated with their fragrance and the bees intoxicated with the abundance of nectar. When you walk into the orchard on a warm afternoon during bloom you’ll hear buzzing all around as the bees, both honey bees and our wild bees race from blossom to blossom. The air will be thick with bees; they are so intent on their work they often crash into me as I’m walking – no one’s hurt, they pick themselves up and head back to the hive or the blossoms. Everyone’s in good spirits during the bloom.

Just as the bloom winds down and white and pink petals cover the ground like confetti, as I walk I keep one eye on the trees and the new fruit and the other on the ground under the trees. I’m looking for morel mushrooms! It’s a wonderful time to be in the orchard.

How to plant your new tree

We are getting ready at the Scott Farm for our annual spring tree sale, May 4 & 5, from 9 – 3 both days.  Each year in early May we offer peach, plum, pear, cherry and apples trees along with lots of advice to customers that come to the farm. We usually have a few surprises, this year we’ll also have figs, beach plums, blueberries and rhubarb. We choose varieties that we know will grow well in our area. We sell most of the trees “bare root” and the shrubs are in pots.

When choosing a site to plant a new fruit tree, there are several important considerations. First, the soil; most fruit trees don’t do well in wet soils. If the hole you dig fills with water or your shovel makes a sucking sound as you dig it is too wet, find another dryer site. Next on the checklist: the site should get full sun for most, if not all of the day. Fruit trees grown in the shade of larger trees or buildings simply won’t be able to produce as many fruit buds. Although your new trees may be small now, be sure to leave enough space from driveways, buildings, walkways and the road. Most of the trees we sell are on semi-dwarf rootstock; we leave at least 16’ of space between trees.

When I am planting a new fruit tree I dig a hole only large enough to accommodate the roots. I seldom dig a hole larger than a five-gallon bucket. Whatever soil comes out of the hole is what goes back in; I don’t add compost or fertilizers. It has been found that if you enrich the soil in the hole the roots tend to stay put and become “pot-bound”. The roots need to spread out and grow to provide anchorage and nutrients for the tree. I spread the roots out as I fill in the hole taking care to work the soil in and around the roots. It is important that the “graft union” be 3 to 4 inches above the final level of the soil. The graft union is easy to find; start at the top of the root system and go a few to several inches up the trunk and you will come to a “bend”. That is where the cultivar or variety was grafted onto the rootstock. Once I have filled in the hole I firm the soil with my foot and then slowly, really slowly, water the tree. I usually water a couple times during the week for the first few weeks. After the tree has leafed out, I top-dress the soil with a fertilizer; something that has some nitrogen. It can be a manure tea, composted manure, a granular mix from the garden supply store, your choice. Never, never, never use the compressed fertilizer “stakes”. I also try to keep a two foot circle around the tree clear of weeds and grasses.

Take a look at our website to see the tress and plants we’ll have available for sale this year and we’ll post an article on taking care of your new trees in a few weeks.

Another Pruning and Grafting Workshop

On Sunday, April 14th, Scott Farm will host a pruning and grafting workshop for back yard fruit growers from 9 am – Noon.  Participants will receive instruction while pruning a variety of old and young fruit trees from 9 -11 and practice grafting apple trees from 11 -12.  This class will discuss caring for their trees, the proper tools to use and will give participants the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to work on their own fruit trees at home.  The fee is $40.00 and reservations are necessary. For more information, directions, and to reserve a space, call (802) 254-6868 or email scottfrm@sover.net.