Stone Ridge Orchards, How Does Your Garden Grow?

With horticultural intrigue—read “variety.”

When I interviewed Mike Biltonen for the honey bee story, I learned Stone Ridge Orchard is one amazing place. Last year I became addicted to their cider and enjoyed stopping at their stand on Route 213 (just before the intersection of Route 209). Now I know Stone Ridge is more than apples and apple products. Mike and his crew run a progressive, diversified fruit farm/U-Pick orchard.

They have a mouth watering assortment of things growing there including (drum roll please) Sweet Cherries, Japanese Plums, European Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Raspberries (Red and Gold), Red Currant, Asian Pears, and Apples including Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Macoun, Cameo, Cortland, Red Delicious, Empire, Stayman, Golden Delicious, Sun Fuji, Sun Crisp, Rome, Fuji; Arctic Kiwi, Blueberries, Gooseberries, Lingonberries, Black Raspberries, Blackberries, Sour Cherries and Vegetables.

Stone Ridge Orchard is developing other value added products made from their home grown bounty-and even instant quick freezing some products. They also grow vegetables from Heritage seed. Stone Ridge sells wholesale to restaurants and supply houses.

Because of Stone Ridge Orchard’s mission to reduce pesticide use, and extensive woods surrounding their orchard, Mike thinks they have a pretty strong native bee population. In the fall when his raspberries are in bloom the fields buzz with bees, not enough to pollinate apples or other crops, but perhaps signaling a resurgence in the wild bee population here.