The Season For Reflection
Help Us Bring Our Production Back To Our Farm!
Since 2017, we have been dreaming and planning our farm-based Cider Mill & Bakery. We've also experienced many financial hurdles along the way to making this dream a reality. Plans were drawn up by an architect in 2019, and in late Summer of 2019 we finally broke ground on the first phase of our grand farm-based facility. There is still much progress to be made and we are asking for your help. Over the past three years we have earned countless followers, fans, and customers. Please watch this video to see how you can take part in this modern day barn raising! Time is of the essence!
Planning An Apple Nursery
One of our biggest goals for 202o is to begin propagating both named and un-named varieties here at Athol Orchards. 2019's Maine Apple Camp was an inspiring time spent with apple enthusiasts who not only work to preserve historic apples, but also see the incredible worth in "feral" apple varieties. These are your roadside, railroad, forest apples that you happen across by chance and may not even stop to think why it's there or how it came to be. In simplest terms, a core may have been tossed out a car or engine window, a bird or animal pooped out a seed, Mother Nature does her job and an apple tree grows. The genetics inherited through cross-pollination is anyone's guess! It is worthy to note that ALL apple varieties once began as feral unknown apples until they were discovered, propagated for their characteristics, and then shared through nurseries and commercial growers. In addition to exploring our region for feral varieties, many customers and friends have shared historic homestead locations where century- old trees still stand. Collecting and identifying these old and potentially "lost" apples will be an exciting and worthy cause!
Take Two: Nigerian Goat Breeding Season
It is now 2020 on our farm, which means Bray, the beautiful blue-eyed Sire will be returning from Grace Ridge Nigerians. Our good friend Laurie will assist in blood testing post breeding to ensure that our does are successfully bred for Springtime babies!
As a quick re-cap, our four does coming from Almar Acres were bred to Grace Ridge Nigerian's Sire Bray. He arrived late January of 2019 and was here through the month of February. Being new to breeding Nigerians we had not taken the simple step of sending in blood samples to test for successful breeding. Late June came around, and of four of our does, only one gave birth to three gorgeous brown and white kids. We lost one precious little doeling, but were blessed with Pip ( Pippin) and Pearl his little sister ( think Pink Pearl). They have been an absolute joy to have here on our farm, and our girls are excited to begin training them for a life of Showmanship in the ring! We are even encouraging our older daughter Mackenzie to try her hand showing at the ADGA shows. They provide great experience but even more, appraisals that tell us how our breeding program is going. We want to keep our focus on superior breed qualities.