The crew has been busy for the past few weeks getting ready for opening day. There is always excitement and anticipation when we open the doors on May 1. The barn is again redolent with the fragrance of baking pies and frying donuts. Fresh coffee, cider, and other goodies wait for the return of our friends and neighbors. Although the weather could be better we know it will soon be warm. Outside my window I can see a cloud of pink peach blossoms over a field to my right. When the apple trees bloom in a couple of weeks there will be clouds of sweet smelling pink and white flowers as far as I can see.

I have vivid memories of our first visit to the orchard forty years ago in March 1979. Max, weary of working as an aerospace engineer, heard about an orchard for sale. We had to walk through it. I just remember a cold day, what warmth the weak winter sun might supply was negated by the stiff breeze that whipped over the open spaces. The apple trees were unimpressive. They were gnarled and barren. The trunks were knotted and twisted, big limbs splayed horizontally, hanging not far from the ground in places. They looked too weary to go on. The walk seemed interminable, I shivered as the wind blew off from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.  I didn’t think the trees looked very promising.

We had to tour the barn, it was equally unimpressive. It was a huge old structure with big double doors at both ends. Once upon a time those doors would have allowed a team of horses and a wagon of hay to pull straight through. Now a weird looking wooden contraption took up space in the middle of the floor. We were told that it was used for sorting and sizing apples. Open lofts on either side held stacks of wooden bushel boxes, blackened with age. A smaller room had been built to one side, it was the sales room where customers came to buy apples and cider. Against the back wall was a stone fireplace and along the sides a few brightly painted two tiered green stands hugged the walls. They would hold bagged apples during the selling season. The outside of the barn was pocked with spots where shingles had blown away.

Not a very auspicious beginning but determination, hard work, and a vision turned the orchard into a great place to work and live. For the past fifteen years, Doug and Miranda have continued the vision and hard work to make it a productive farm as well as a place for people to visit and enjoy.