Up here at Poverty Lane Orchards we grow all sorts of apples for all sorts of reasons. (Plus pears for our fall farm stand. Plus a pick-your-own raspberry patch.) But really it’s apples: delightful ones for eating, cooking and sweet cider, and weird-tasting ones for fermenting into adult-beverage cider.

Into the 1950’s, our fields belonged to three different dairy farms, all scattered along Poverty Lane in Lebanon, NH. By the early sixties, all three had quit dairy, and sold their land to one new owner. He planted those fields to main-crop New England apple varieties - McIntosh, Cortland, and Macoun.

Back then, many wholesale apples grown in New England were shipped to New England grocery stores. That regional market was a primary support for thousands of acres of commercial fruit growing in the Northeast. So when the current Wood family took over Poverty Lane Orchards in the 70s, it was a small-to-mid-sized operation for New England. Big, multi-generation fruit farms dominated Northeast apple production.

Now? Now New England orcharding has changed. Now our apple operation, without actually expanding, has become one of the biggest (and oldest) in New Hampshire. In the 1990s and 2000s, many of the bigger, older orchards in New England had to sell some or all of their land to developers. Meanwhile up here, by the 1980s we had started growing apples most of our fellow citizens never heard of, including many that nobody eats! And we didn't sell any good orchard land to developers, because those varieties promised an agricultural future for our land. Intrigued? More info at povertylaneorchards.com.

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