July 25, 12:07 pm
About Us

Russell Family
Russell Orchards is a family owned and operated 120 acre fruit farm in Ipswich, MA. Owners Doug and Miranda Russell are the second generation of Russells to farm this land. Prior to their taking ownership in 2008, Doug and Miranda learned the business from Doug's father Max who had farmed here for 30 years. Doug first worked in the fields and orchards right out of high school in 1979, learning how to spray and prune the trees from the old-timers who were still on hand to spread their knowledge. He managed the orchards for the family while father Max was wrapping up his career in the aerospace industry in order to be a full time farmer. Doug eventually attended college and led a life free from farming for many years with a successful career writing custom software. Miranda began her time at the orchard in 1992 as a cashier, part-time pie maker, and cutting flower bouquets from the gardens. Her responsibilities quickly grew and over the years she began to manage several areas of the business, while still pursuing her career in music. The two were married in 1997 in the orchard and have two children who love this farm as much as they do.
The offerings at the orchard today are vastly different from what was here in 1979 when Max and Meredith Russell purchased the farm. Then the orchard was in poor shape after several difficult seasons and the blizzard of '78. The store - such as it was - was a virtual coffee can of self-service and the bakery was yet to be created. Meredith turned out her tried-and-true family recipes for pies and scones and was soon baking for the masses. She tinkered with a donut recipe to achieve the quintessential cider donut that we still serve today, made entirely from scratch. Out in the orchard, Max saw potential in every inch of the acreage and set about planting scores of new apple trees, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and more. Daughter Laura served as store manager and part-owner in partnership with Max for over a dozen years, bringing to the farm her keen eye for original and inspired retail, and authentic down home know-how. Laura's influence can still be found in the barn among the various antiques and curios that fill the loft to the rafters. Nowadays there are dozens of different types of fruit growing in the orchard using modern growing methods and technologies whenever possible. As second-generation farmers, we know how much work and dedication it takes to succeed - or even get by - in this business. Our standing in the agricultural community and in the hearts of our loyal customers is based on the dreams and the hard work that our predecessors and other family members have put in for many years. We are fortunate to have close family members working and volunteering in key positions on the farm, as well as several committed and talented employees to help us manage the business and work alongside us every day.
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