Out & About: Learn about apples during Quechee orchard walks

  • Ryan Johnson, of Hanover, steadies the ladder as his son Drake, 9, picks apples at Whitman Brook Orchard in Quechee, Vt., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Johnson has been bringing his son to the orchard for seven years and they stop several times during the fall to try different varieties. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file — James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/20/2020 9:46:47 AM
Modified: 8/20/2020 9:46:36 AM

QUECHEE — Spots are filling up fast for guided walks taking place Saturday at Whitman Brook Orchard in Quechee.

The walks — which are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. — are being cosponsored by the Friends of the Justin Morrill Homestead in Strafford. Terry Dorman, owner of Whitman Brook Orchard, is leading them. Tickets are $15 and registration is required by Friday at morrillhomestead.org. Email director@morrillhomestead.org for the earlier time slot.

“The original portion of our orchard was planted in the 1920s and visitors are interested in seeing a sort of older Vermont orchard: Bigger trunks, widely spaced trees,” Dorman said. “We have developed a number of different approaches to grafting which are of interest to people with a small number of trees who may want to add varieties or change the shape of the tree, all of which they can see.”

In addition to preserving his own orchard, Dorman offers advice to others.

“We’ve tried to help the Morrill Homestead with some of their apple restoration work and we consult with others who are in the midst of either orchard restoration or tree restoration,” he said. “We work with several of the state’s historic sites and other organizations to help where we can.”

Like other organizations in the Upper Valley, the Morrill Homestead has had to cancel many in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had some Painting Botanicals workshops that are going on but we kept those numbers really small,” said Tracey McFadden, director of Friends of The Morrill Homestead. “Pretty much most of the season has been canceled. The events that we’ve kept, they’re all outdoors and small.”

The annual Morrill Minis art fundraising auction, went virtual. The state historic site is also open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. House tours are limited to four people.

The homestead has another in-person event coming up on Sunday, Sept. 6. From 1-2:30 p.m. Michael Caduto will lead a walk titled “Fiddleheads, Lamb’s Quarters, Nettles and Nuts: Wild Edible, Medicinal, and Poisonous Plants.”

The gardens are open during daylight hours.

“It’s right off a popular cycling route. It is a nice a bicycling destination,” McFadden said. “It’s right nearby and worth a visit. If people are looking for adventures closer to home this is a good one.”

Here’s a look at other Upper-Valley events that are coming up over the next few days.


■Use Kilton Public Library laptops and print documents from 2-4 p.m. during an Outdoor Tech Lab at the Kilton Green Space, behind the library at 80 Main St., in West Lebanon. Librarians will be on hand to answer questions. leblibrary.com/node/4535.

■Grab your own refreshments before logging onto Zoom for Upper Valley Green Drinks discussion about Vershare from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Vershare is a community service organization that was founded by Vershire residents in 1998. Register at sustainablewoodstock.org for Zoom link.

■Judith Black will portray Lucy Stone, the first woman hired by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society as a public speaker and the “Shining Star” of the Abolition and Women’s Rights Movements, at 7 p.m. during a Zoom program co-sponsored by the Howe Library and New Hampshire Humanities. Email jared.jenisch@thehowe.org for link.

■UVM Extension Master Gardener and Co-Coordinator of the Vermont Victory Gardens Project Gordon Clark will discuss organic vegetable gardening at 7 p.m. during a Zoom talk hosted by the Windsor Public Library. Visit windsorlibrary.org for link.


■Stop by the Canaan United Methodist Church (1150 Route 4) beginning at 4:30 p.m. for barbecue chicken and pie. A ½-chicken costs $6.50; a whole pie is $12 or a slice of pie $3. Pre-order by calling 603-523-4262. Event ends when food is sold out.

■Jeremiah and Annemieke McLane will perform as the Cassotto Duo at 7:30 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. The duo will perform in the concert hall, which will be limited to 75 attendees in order to adhere to social distancing practices. The concert will also be livestreamed. Tickets for both cost $15. For more information and tickets, visit chandler-arts.org.


■Join members of the Upper Valley Land Trust from 10 a.m.-noon for a work day at Smith Pond Shaker Forest in Enfield. Volunteers will meet in the parking lot on Smith Pond Road for a trail work lesson before heading into the woods. Email Paul.Blazevich@UVLT.org to register. Temperatures taken at start of event. Masks are required upon arrival and when working within 20 feet of other volunteers.

■West African Afro-fusion funk band Sabouyouma will headline a music and dinner event from 6-9 p.m. at Fable Farm Orchard in Barnard. Tickets are offered at $15, $50 and $100. Proceeds from the event will support diverse arts programming in Vermont schools and at the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, Vt., which is currently unrolling a “Window to a Multi-cultural World” curriculum for Vermont schools, according to a news release from BarnArts Center for the Arts, which is co-sponsoring the event. A community discussion on the topic will take place from 4-5:30 p.m. prior to the event. For more information, tickets and to register for the discussion, visit barnarts.org.

■The Enfield United Methodist Church (314 Route 4) is holding a takeout Pulled Pork Supper from 5-6:30 p.m. For $8, you’ll get a pulled pork sandwich, chips and a pickle.


■Celebrate public access to the Connecticut River during “Trails + Trucks at River Park” from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at 173 N. Main St., West Lebanon. Grab a bite to eat from a food truck before exploring the trails in the park. Masks required. friendsofriverpark.org.

■Hike Sunday Mountain (Dame Hill Road, Orford) between now and Aug. 30 to get a voucher for ice cream from Gladstone Creamery in Fairlee. The event is sponsored by the Cross Rivendell Trail Association, which in non-pandemic summers, holds an annual hike to the top of the Orford mountain for ice cream. Visit rivendelltrail.squarespace.com for more information.

Farmers markets

Woodstock: Wednesday, 3-6 p.m., Woodstock Green, Route 4. Masks encouraged. woodstockvt.com.

Lebanon: 3-7 p.m., Thursdays, Colburn Park, 51 N. Park St. Masks required. lebanonfarmersmarket.org.

Royalton: 3-6 p.m., Thursdays, Town Green, South Windsor Street, South Royalton. Facebook: “Royalton Farmers Market.”

Chelsea: 3-6 p.m., Fridays, North Common, Route 110 and Route 113. Masks encouraged. chelseafarmersmarket.org.

Hartland: 4-7 p.m., Fridays, Hartland Public Library, 153 Route 5. Order online Monday-Wednesday and pick up Friday. Masks required. hartlandfarmersmarket.com.

Newport: 3-6 p.m., Fridays, Town Common, North Main Street. Masks encouraged. Facebook: “Newport Farmers Market.”

Norwich: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, 281 Route 5. Masks encouraged. norwichfarmersmarket.org.

Randolph: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, 44 S. Main St. Masks required. randfarmmarket@yahoo.com.

Canaan: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays, Town Common, Route 4/Route 118. Masks encouraged. Facebook: “Canaan Farmers and Artisans’ Market.”

Editor’s note: Submit Upper Valley-based events to the Valley News at calendar.vnews.com.

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