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Lost Nation Orchard: growing organic apples with Apple Grower author Michael Phillips
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Organic Apple Marketplace

Local Apples for Local Folk

The 2014 apple harvest will be slim pickings, we're sorry to say. Spotty bloom this spring has given growers in New England a small crop, at best. Be sure to get signed up for our harvest emails to hear what to expect each weekend. We expect to sell out quickly on Saturdays. It is what it is . . . but like any optimistic farmer . . . we look for "barn floors full" in 2015!
The words explosively crisp jump immediately to mind when biting into a Honeycrisp apple. -- photo: Michael Phillips
The words explosively crisp jump immediately to mind when biting into a Honeycrisp apple.

Local people share in the fruits of our orchard by coming to the farm on announced harvest days. We are not a pick-your-own orchard but rather make tree-ripened fruit available for sale when varieties come ready. We invite customers at appointed times on fall weekends rather than having open hours every day. You get on our preferred customer list by simply letting Michael know of your love for especially tasty apples. Please understand that we are not set up to ship organic apples at this time.

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North Country Apples

SnowSweet apples are getting rave reviews. -- photo: University of Minnesota
SnowSweet apples are getting
rave reviews.

Here's a taste of wonderful apples we have begun harvesting from Lost Nation Orchard along with up-and-comers for the years ahead. We have 60 plus varieties at this point . . . and Michael is a guy who never quite knows when to stop!

Pristine kicks off our harvest season, along with purplish-red William's Pride and "anything but" Redfree. Duchess of Oldenburg establishes exacting first standards for really good apple pie. Thin-skinned Red Gravenstein with its snap and tang is a wowser. We're just as excited about Zestar for its early season crunch and delightful lemony zest.

All-purpose Wealthy hints of strawberry when fully ripe. Look to Akane for sprightly perfection. St. Edmund's Russet could teach pears a thing or two about flavor. Lost Nation Macs straddle the sweet/tart divide, followed by crisp Cortland in early October. Macoun fans will be intrigued by the denser flavor of this variety when grown organically. We consider tree-ripened Spartan and Empire to be late season jewels.

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Sweet Sixteen comes with a pleasing nutty flavor-with an essence of bourbon to boot-that will delight discriminating palates. The all-star from the Minnesota breeding program has to be Honeycrisp. This sweet apple has been described as "explosively crisp" for good reason. We love Fireside for its especially orange glow and respectable keeping ability. SnowSweet will prove worth the wait.

People go bonkers for our very own Bonkers, a disease-resistant variety originally known as NY 35. Dayton, Scarlet O'Hara, Liberty, and GoldRush round out this grower's preference category. Pink Pearl surprises with bright pink flesh and tang . . . interest in such red-fleshed varieties has us looking for more.

Honeygold rolls sweetly down the mellow yellow road. Both Brock and Spencer bring new meaning to being progeny of Golden Delicious, with Shizuka throwing a distinctive bronze curveball into that mix. Our numerous heirlooms include Ashmead's Kernel, Belle de Boskoop, Rhode Island Greening, and Black Oxford. Lastly, did you know Calville Blanc holds far more vitamin C than any orange?

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Rhode Island Greening defines American apple pie. -- photo: Michael Phillips
Rhode Island Greening defines American apple pie.
What texture and color to Belle de Boskoop! -- photo: Michael Phillips
What texture and color to
Belle de Boskoop!
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Introducing Our Apples

Pre-Season Apple Shares

Local customers can actively help the farm each new growing season by purchasing a 3-peck organic apple share ahead of harvest time. Providing us $60 per share by early summer makes it possible to purchase the soil amendments and natural spray materials the trees require to produce a quality crop. You will receive a mixed peck of tree-ripened varieties each time you come out to Lost Nation in the fall. We'll throw in an early season pie bonus -- a premium half-peck of Duchess of Oldenburg apples -- in appreciation for this vital support. Families at the Riverside School in Lyndonville get the added benefit of delivery as Nancy will bring your bags of apples to the school on a biweekly basis in September and October. This offer is only available to people nearby who can commit to picking up their apple share over the course of the harvest season.

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We will invite folks on our "local mailing list" to purchase a share once we feel sure Mother Nature has assured that year's crop. If so, simply click that purchase button to order online (with PayPal) or you may send $50 by check or money order to Heartsong Farm, 859 Lost Nation Road, Groveton, NH 03582. Remember to provide us with your full array of contact information.

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Organic Cider Jelly &
Yankee Apple Butter

People loved our specialty apple products at the former Lost Nation Cider Mill. Have hope! Among the good things that follow the procurement of a cider press here at Heartsong Farm will be the return of our 100% Pure Cider Jelly and Yankee Apple Butter (made with real maple sugar) to our Organic Apple Marketplace.

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Real Cider Vinegar

Cider vinegar is the end result of hard cider left to sit. The alcohol of the cider converts to an acetic acid in the presence of vinegar bacteria (called acetobacter) and air. The best vinegars are aged for as long as four years in genuine wooden barrels. Time preserves the delicacy of flavor found in real cider vinegar that is lost in the 48-hour acetator process of industrial vinegar making. Equally important, the enzymes that give vinegar its reputation as a healing tonic only develop in contact with wood. Real cider vinegar -- made from organic apples and properly aged -- acts as a therapeutic buffer of the human circulatory system. The presence of an acetobacter mother (those strands that appear in our bottled vinegar) is proof positive that living vinegar comes unpasteurized.

Organic Cider Vinegar from Lost Nation Orchard

Our batch production of real cider vinegar will be limited until we have a full-fledged cider mill up and running. Nancy uses much of our hand-cranked supply for High Calcium Tonic, available each fall in Nancy's Apothecary. Vinegar excels in drawing out the vitamins and minerals of nutritive herbs like borage, nettles, milky oats, and raspberry leaf.

The Holistic Orchard: Growing Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips -- click for book summary The Holistic Orchard: Growing Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

Take a Walk in The Holistic Orchard

Michael Phillips completely changed the conversation about healthy orcharding with his first bestselling book, The Apple Grower, and now he takes that dialogue even further, drawing connections between home orcharding and permaculture; the importance of native pollinators and beneficial allies; the world of understory plantings with shade-tolerant berry bushes; detailed information on cover crops and biodiversity; varietal rundowns of all the major tree fruits, and the newest research on safe, locally-inspired solutions to pest and disease challenges.

"Michael Phillips's Holistic Orchard is a seminal work, to be compared with Sir Albert Howard and J.I. Rodale's classic books on soil and organic gardening. This is deep horticulture at its best, showing just how and what we must do to orchard sustainably and ecologically."
Bill MacKentley,
St. Lawrence Nurseries

Order your very own signed copy directly from the author and shipping will be FREE!


DVD: Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips

Now on DVD!

Care for a visual tour of the holistic orchard? Start with this movie trailer to get an inkling of what 'michael unleashed' has to share about his passion for fruit trees. You betcha! Our long-promised Holistic Orcharding DVD is now available. Seeing what happens throughout the orchard year will boost anyone's confidence to do this right.

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