This space has not been updated since the spring. Our summer was marked by some travels and a major change. Our grandson Alex with his wife Jessalyn and their two children are now our next-door neighbors. They’ve bought our house while we will live in the attached guest house.

With aging comes change and for me, life review.

The window over my desk looks onto the orchard where pick-your-own takes place every September and October. Watching wagon-loads of families disembark and disappear among the trees makes me think of forty years ago this fall, our first year as owners of, what was then Goodale Orchards, now Russell Orchards.

We opened on September first 1979 . There were no strawberries or blueberries or peaches, no bakery, no winery. There was a small sales room for selling the cider and pre-bagged apples. Pick-your-own visitors entered from a separate entrance on Northgate Road and often didn’t even come to the orchard store.

There were 900 apple trees planted nearly sixty years earlier, a few pear trees and a shed a mile away where cider was pressed. Over the years, those old trees have almost all been replace by thousands of dwarf or semi-dwarf trees. One of the first changes was adding a cider mill to the back of the barn. Berries, cherries, peaches, and other fruits were planted. A greenhouse was built for growing tomatoes and other vegetables. The bakery followed soon after the cider mill, and then the winery.

Since our beginning in 1979, each of our children have been involved in the orchard in some way before going on to other endeavors. Ten years ago after a tech career the orchard ownership passed on to our son Doug and his wife Miranda who have continued to expand and improve the orchards.

Four of our eight grandchildren grew up on the orchard and we we are delighted that two of our three great-grandchildren will now grow up here.

Life is good.