Apple orchards aren’t an unusual sight in Vermont. When fall arrives, it’s hard to miss the families and schoolchildren gathering under fruitful trees, the local apples on sale at markets, grocery stores, and roadside stands, the wave of apple pies and bottles of cider that feel quintessential against the backdrop of fall foliage.

The Upper Valley region of Vermont is special not just because of the abundance of apple orchards. Or its plethora of independent bookstores. Or even the multitude of world-class athletes that spring from the soil here. No, this place is singular because of the prevalent philosophy that taking care of your neighbors is the right thing to do.

And that drive to take care extends to the natural world. The urge to conserve land is strong in this region. People here recognize that how we treat the land today has lasting effects far into the future, and they take steps to ensure that future.

Terry Dorman could have let the abandoned apple orchard stay abandoned. But he was compelled to recover the orchard, tree by tree, out of a sense of rightness, out of a deep knowing that these trees had managed to survive decades of neglect and that was something to be respected. So, he picked up a pair of pruners and went to work, and the result is a hillside of apple trees and a community that cares for them, a space that couldn’t have grown out of the soil of any other state.

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“These trees not only have the terroir of growing here in central Vermont, but because of the ground in this orchard, two trees of the same variety planted in different locations have their own unique flavor.”

- ADDIE GARDNER