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Whitman Brook: Orchard Growing Apple Trees Rooted In The Past

Sep 16, 2021 02:57PM ● By By Cassie Horner
When Terry Dorman first saw and started walking the old orchard in 1990, it was so enshrouded with overgrowth that some apple trees were hard to find. In spite of or maybe because of the challenges, he was drawn to this beautiful place in the Quechee hills where the orchard had been planted circa 1920 and later abandoned. Today, 31 years later, this revitalized area of thriving trees is part of a larger property with a total of about 600 trees growing 130 varieties of heirloom apples. It is called Whitman Brook Orchard and was originally part of the once well-known Quechee Fells Farm.

“The orchard and adjacent field were a mess,” Terry says. “It was starting to revert to forest. It had been planted before Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. In 1995, if you were standing at one tree, you couldn’t see the next one. We spent five years restoring the orchard. Everybody thought I had lost my mind but I knew what I could make it look like. I kept every tree that was alive that could be nursed back to health. Now I move through the orchard and see the same trees in every season. Everything is so magical.”

To continue reading this story please see page 32 in the Woodstock Magazine Fall 2021 digital edition.

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