The Season For Reflection
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A Marathon Year
"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perserverance. It overcomes almost everything,
-John D. Rockefellar
This has been a challenging and heartbreaking year on so many levels, yet a year we've also been given many unexpected blessings. While we've been pushing forward on the kitchen project, we have also been kept busy with our local Athol Farmers Market. Despite our county putting a mask mandate into effect due to Covid, we've still been able to welcome our community out for something that is familiar, safe, and re-assuring. Something that feels NORMAL.
We are nearing the finishing touches of the kitchen project which seems a surreal and and amazing step. We never thought we'd get here. We will unveil the finished facility very soon!
On the farm, the bees are filling the supers on the hives, apples are earning their Summer blush, pumpkins are slowly maturing, and we continue to feel blessed for new accounts forged for our Farm-Crafted product wholesale distribution. We have been given some amazing opportunities to grow and can't wait to share details!
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!
Baby Goats of 2020!
I am so excited to announce that Bray's visit was about 50% fruitful. Of our four Nigerian Dwarf Does, two were bred successfully which gave us a total of five kids to the farm: 3 bucklings, and 2 sweet little doelings. Two of the bucklings went to a new home while we kept the third has a pet ( we were "forced" to keep him by our eldest daughter Mackenzie) since Bennie ( For Ben Davis apple) has his daddy's blue eyes. The two young does will soon join the ranks of our milking herd!
Animal husbandry has proven to be one of our favorite farm tasks as it is so rewarding to be growing a future herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats for the purpose of producing that ultra rich milk Nigerians are known for. Because of the high content of butterfat, Nigerian Dwarf Goat Cheese is highly prized. We plan to put our signature touch on this line of cheese that we cannot wait to begin producing. It will be one of many products being farm-crafted in our new kitchen facility.