HistoryIn June of 2010 Allen and Becky Clark purchased the 75 acre orchard from Hal and Nora Law. The Law family purchased the run down farm in 1976. They began planting apple trees the same year and opened to the public for U-Pick in 1980. Since 2010, Allen and Becky have continued to honor what the Law family had begun, after several months, the rehabilitation of the Apple Store and the Creamery have been completed, this farming family’s dream has come true!
Together Allen, Becky, their son Zach, also own and operate Goodyear Farms in Suffield and Griffin Farmstead Goat Dairy in East Granby. Allen and Becky’s parents are an integral part of running the farms side by side.
Bushy Hill Orchard contains approximately 15,000 apple trees grafted onto the English Malling IX rootstock. There are areas planted to Polish P22 and Russian Budagorfski 9 rootstocks. The result is that no apple tree at Bushy Hill Orchard is more than six feet tall. There are 750 trees per acre grown on the Pennsylvania Low Hedgerow four-wire trellis. In contrast, the old-fashioned spacing was about 40 trees per acre!! Recent scientific tests have shown that because the apples on dwarf trees receive much more sunlight, they both taste better and contain significantly more flavonoids, sugars and other nutritionally desirable elements.
The Orchard’s peaches are grown on a 3-wire trellis, to a height of eight feet. These 3-wire trellises are in their 3rd iteration and were developed entirely at Bushy Hill Orchard. The yield is very high and no ladders are required for harvest.
An acre of blueberries is harvested annually and sold fresh or frozen.
Recently added to the farm; Asian Pears, Nectarines, and Plums. It will take a few years for them to come into full production. Vegetables are also being grown, the usual “staples” are grown and available for sale.
All fruits and vegetables grown on the farm are managed using the IPM program. This program is the most current and safest way to manage production using beneficials and reduced chemical methods. www.IPM.Uconn.edu www.IPM.ucdavis.edu www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm nysipm.cornell.edu
The orchard rents beehives from a local apiary and brings in bumblebees to aid in pollination. The goal is to have a million bees pollinating the apple blooms, since it takes about nine bee visits per blossom to pollinate one apple! Unfortunately, over the years the beehives have continually suffered damage from bears!
Great care has been taken in the development of Bushy Hill Orchard and the protection of the environment. Ponds were established to reduce previous erosion and to provide water for irrigation and local wildlife. Every tree in the orchard has its own “drinking fountain”!
The entire Bushy Hill Orchard staff welcomes you and wants to make your visit memorable. Drop by for a visit.
Our location: 29 Bushy Hill Road, Granby, CT (between routes 20 and 189)