Located in the hills above the village of Putney, VT, Green Mountain Orchards is one of Vermont's largest apple orchards and is managed by the Darrow family.
Four generations of the Darrow family have farmed the hills that make up Green Mountain Orchards.
We grow primarily apples and blueberries for the wholesale market and boast over 125 acres of apples in production and nearly 18 acres of blueberries.
We also grow raspberries, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins and Christmas trees!
BAKERY & KITCHEN
The orchard kitchen is known far and wide for its sinfully delicious pies and cider donuts. On fall days the donuts are still warm no matter what time of day you arrive and some days we can't make them as fast as they are eaten.
Many other goodies come out of our kitchen including blueberry muffins, blueberry buckle, apple sticky buns, and more
Our store is also stocked with our own jams, & butters, as well as quality products from our fellow Vermont neighbors.
Green Mountain Orchards was started in 1914 by William H. Darrow Sr. who was born and raised in Chester, VT. He purchased a small hillside farm in Putney, Vermont and began planting apples and other horticultural crops immediately. Today it is managed by the third and fourth generation of Darrows
We grew in production and acreage over the next 75 years until the 1990's when the apple market tumbled and many New England orchards went out of business. Green Mountain Orchards cut its acreage by nearly 50% in the late 90's as a result.
Efficient management and the development and diversification of a retail business and pick your own business has allowed us to stick around. Hopefully for another 100 years!
We press our own fresh cider at Green Mountain Orchards.
We use only high quality, tree-picked fruit in our cider so there is no need to pasteurize it. However, State laws prohibit orchards from selling unpasteuized cider in stores. This means that you can only get our fresh cider in one place, directly from the people who make it.
Come watch it being pressed. We'll even let you press your own on our smaller demonstration mill.
We start making Cider in early September as the apples get sweet. In 2012 we kept making cider all the way through Feburary and into March.
Although we would like to grow our apples organically, the moist, humid, and hot conditions in New England provide a perfect habitat for many orchard insect pests and diseases, making it very difficult to grow marketable fruit organically.
So, at our orchard we practice whats called "Integrated Pest Managment" or IPM.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides. In contrast, organic food production applies many of the same concepts as IPM but limits the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.
Age-old, common-sense practices are what many people associate with IPM. Today many growers no longer apply pesticides to food on a regular basis regardless of whether or not there are insects, weeds, or other pest problems.
Some practices for preventing pest damage may include: inspecting crops and monitoring crops for damage, and using mechanical trapping devices, natural predators (e.g., insects that eat other insects), insect growth regulators, mating disruption substances (pheromones), and if necessary, chemical pesticides. The use of biological pesticides is an important component of IPM.