We are the Gougeon family. Our orchard is just a few acres, the site of an old orchard going back more than 100 years. About half of the existing orchard was planted on the land of Melinda and Richard Gougeon about 30 years ago by a local apple grower. The orchard eventually fell out of use, not being large enough on its own to be viable on a traditional commercial scale, and too large for Lindy and Rich (without growing experience) to deal with as a "home" orchard. In 2005 Lindy and Rich's son Steve, his wife Jen Williams and their sons Aidan and Elliot, bought Rich and Lindy's house and put a second family addition on it, putting three generations on the property.
Already growing a lot of our own food, and interested in small scale sustainable growing, we started into the world of growing "organic" apples. Since then, with a lot of reading, seminars, apple grower meetings, conversations with other growers, pruning, thinning, bug identification, spraying, pruning and more thinning, we are getting good crops of apples from the orchard once again, and are able to offer them for sale. And with a 20+ year history in home-brewing and fermenting hard cider, and an interest in selling it, we don’t need to have the best looking apples if a lot of them are going into to the tank. This takes a lot of pressure off as far as worrying about whether the fruit is good enough looking.
At this point the future of the orchard looks good. We have taken out many diseased and damaged trees. In 2007 we started adding more new trees to balance out the types of apples we will have during the season, for fresh eating and for making hard cider. Always spirit fans and loving the French apple brandy Calvados, we got our distilling license in 2018. Brandy is currently the primary focus of the orchard.
We do have off-farm jobs as well. Steve is a cabinetmaker specializing in cabinetry and furniture under the guise of Apple Valley Woodworking. Jen is a faculty member at a local college teaching Microbiology and Human Anatomy.