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Photo Credit: Ben Norwood, Printed in American Essence Magazine

A Graphic Designer/ Photographer Turned Apple Charmer

A Fruitful Journey For My Family & Yours

I grew up in the mountains where old, twisted apple orchards flourished just up the road. We'd take drives up there, walk into the old dusky barns full of bagged apples and choose the heaviest, prettiest bags of mountain-grown apples we could find. Those apples were the tastiest apples I'd ever eaten, and they set the bar for me as to what an apple SHOULD be. Crisp, sweet, natural, tasting like the air, mountain soil, and water that nurtured it through the spring and summer season.

I've taken a few paths in life, chasing some sort of ultimate goal that would somehow make me feel accomplished, professional, successful. The path we are all taught to walk down in life - That path that eventually leads us to the ultimate job that is supposed to last you through your productive years until you can manage to retire. I spent roughly ten years in college, two different majors, three different professions. Graphic Designer ( my long standing artistic ability led me down the first path), Elementary/K-12 Teacher ( my love for sharing knowledge and the many wonders of the world with the youth), and a role as wedding/family/lifestyle photographer ( the amazement of capturing a single time, place, and memory that will never occur again). Along the way, gardening and growing food was always my hobby, my love, my passion. Everything else was a 7 to 6 , a paycheck, a way to help provide for my family. Nothing more, no passion.

Isn't it funny that what brings us back to our own hearts is where they began in the first place? The simplicity of an apple, the quiet mountains, the fresh air.

Our girls will run through the orchards barefoot, they will chase ladybugs, see food growing before their eyes, and will truly learn the concept and reward of a job well done. They will taste a historical, sun-ripened apple straight off the tree that was nurtured by rich mountain soil, clean air, and natural spring water directly from our own spring and creek. Anything worth doing isn't easy, but it's worth the struggle to find your happiness. My husband and my girls have supported me through this journey, and it's one we are happily on together. For me, happiness is biting into an apple and tasting the sweet simplicity of what life was and should be still. Athol Orchards Antique Apple Farm & Bakery is a place for you and yours to experience the same simplicity.

When the time comes for us to open the gates and you come to visit our farm, my wish is that you'll leave your cell phones in the car and grab the hands of your loved ones as you walk into the orchards. Filled with apple varieties carefully curated for their historical and useful purposes, visit the past as you stand below the canopy of these trees, ornate with glorious red, green, russeted symbols of America's past. Select and pick these apples yourself, based on your plans - whether it be to bake a pie, cook up some sauce or apple butter, polish with your t-shirt and take a fresh bite, or to dry in a dehydrator for winter snacking. Our historically rich apple varieties are the focal point of Athol Orchards. Press some fresh cider, treat yourselves to some fresh pie or an apple fritter, and take a peck of antique apples and a few heirloom pumpkins home to enjoy during the Autumn season. This is our plan for our farm and our local community.  Life doesn't have to be so fast paced. Let us enjoy the simple things once more.

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