It's been a privilege for my husband and I to meet and get to know Wayne and Toni Myers, the owners and operators of Faith Orchards, in Douglassville, PA. They remind me of Tolkien's Samwise Gamgee and his wife Rosie--humble, quiet, salt of the earth world-changers. The orchard is an amazing place to visit, and unique in that they grow over 70 kinds of apples, some of the most interesting being the heirloom varieties, such as the Roxbury Russet c.1640, perhaps the oldest named apple in the US. I also learned of the Esopus Spitzenberg c.1790, reportedly Thomas Jefferson's favorite; and Ashmeade's Kernel c.1720 from England, my favorite, especially with peanut butter and bacon on toast. Trust me - it's good.
Wayne is so knowledgeable about the history of the apples he grows, and hospitably slices one open for you as he tells of its origins. Last February, he taught us how to graft an apple tree. As we were leaving, his wife gave us a large bouquet of pussy willows from her garden. Not only are they generous to their customers, but all of their profits go to various missions throughout the world.
A delicious slice of "Hidden Rose", yellow-skinned with gorgeous pink streaks on the inside.
So hard to choose...
Some of the apples go into making the best all natural cider we've ever tasted.
Thanks, Wayne and Toni. We'll be back soon.