Scott Farm Orchard is a 571 acre gem owned by the Landmark Trust USA. We grow 120 varieties of ecologically grown heirloom apples as well as plums, blueberries, peaches, pears, quince, nectarines, cherries, grapes, medlars and apricots. All our fruit comes from our very own free range trees. Last year we planted paw paws and persimmon and hope to harvest them in the coming year or two. This year we will plant new apple varieties and expand the existing orchard.
The orchard has evolved from conventional management and cultivar selection to an ecologically managed heirloom apple oasis. The farm itself is something of an heirloom, settled in 1791 by Rufus Scott. Ownership then passed to the Holbrook family who expanded and diversified the farm. The orchards were planted in 1915 and soon became the main focus of the farm. In 1995, Fred Holbrook gifted the Scott Farm to the Landmark Trust USA, a non-profit whose mission is historic preservation. Landmark Trust is known for acquiring and then restoring Rudyard Kiplings house, Naulakha, which is next door to the farm. After a year long restoration project, the house began accepting guests who rent it for vacation purposes. The process was so successful that it is now a National Historic Landmark.
The Kipling house borders the Scott Farm and its magical orchard. The renowned apple maestro, Ezekiel Goodband, took over the management of the orchard in 2001. The first action Zeke took was to cut off the tops of thousands of McIntosh trees and graft on twig sized scions of treasured heirloom apple varieties he had collected over the years. These twigs transformed into entire new tree tops. The orchard, which is ecologically managed, is home to numerous types of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. Its a living, breathing ecosystem that Zeke manages with biological and cultural methods which produce healthy, high quality fruits.
Approximately 85% of our crop stays in Vermont. We value the personal connections we have with our customers because they are our family, friends, and community. Our mission to grow exceptional fruit with the highest integrity is upheld year round by our small dedicated staff of Ezekiel Goodband, Kelly Carlin, Tristam Johnson and Erin Robinson. Each year, the day after we close our Farm Market in November, we begin pruning each of our 6000 trees by hand with the hope to finish by mid-April. During the bloom we plant new trees and then nurture our crop through the summer heat and storms. We start the apple harvest in August and work tree by tree, apple by apple, through 120 varieties. Our fruit is hand-picked and hand-packed onsite under the expert guidance of our Jamaican guest workers in conjunction with local folks. Most of the members of our Grade A harvest crew have worked together with Zeke for over 20 years. During the Fall, apples harvested on a Monday are whisked away by the Black River truck and can be found on display at locals stores and coops by Wednesday.