When the air has that crispness found only in fall and the dazzling sky shimmers with an elusive autumnal true-blue clarity, you might find yourself yearning to take a bite into a juicy apple freshly plucked from the tree. You could just roll into the closest pick-your-own orchard and fill a bag with Macs. Or you could take the family on a pilgrimage to Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont, and partake of the ultra-scenic sweeping vistas, stroll through forty acres of meticulously groomed apple trees laden with fruit, and awaken your taste buds with the nectar of ‘Sheep’s Nose’, ‘Roxbury Russet’, ‘Lamb Abbey Pearmain’, ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, or any of the 120-plus savory apple varieties that flourish there.
But there’s more to the experience. Go to a group apple tasting event at the farm, and you will likely meet Ezekiel Goodband — who possesses an enthusiastic wealth of information about all things apple. With smiling eyes that light up when he discusses such topics as ‘Duchess of Oldenburg’ (one of his fifty favorite apples), Zeke is the guy you want by your side when trying to decide which tree to harvest for cider. He is probably this country’s best-versed expert on the subtleties of apple consumption (Zeke can smell his way blindfolded to his favorite apples in a dark cold storage unit), and to engage in a strudel bake-off with him might be a bit intimidating. But he’ll be glad to steer you and your family to the section of the orchard where the rare ‘Blue Pearmain’ apples that thrilled Henry David Thoreau are growing.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE VALENTINE
WRITTEN BY TOVAH MARTIN
This story appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of MILIEU.
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