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Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary

A Taste of History

-   ABOUT US  -

Our Philosophy

 

     Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary 's philosophy is that we understand everything is connected in nature.  Every organism has it role, place, and value in our beautiful world.  This understanding that everything is connected guides our management of our orchard and honeybee apiary.  We use organic methods when it comes to growing our garlic, apples, and other produce and in the management of our honeybees.  We understand all too well the plight of the honeybee and the chemical overload of our modern society.  We like to play our part in lessening the chemical load in our environment.

     Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary is dedicated to providing  nourishing produce for the body's health and well-being.  We understand the health of the soil is the foundation of nourishing food.  We build our soils by using compost, wood mulches, and the planting of clover. This feeds the trees, which in turn,  gives us nutrition.  We keep mowing of the orchard to a minimum, because the tall grasses and weeds provide cover and food for all life.  We plant, harvest, and cure our garlic by hand.  Our children's preference for our orchard's apples over the store bought varieties is a testament to their taste and the body's need for nourishment, as ours are not always as pretty and perfect as the supermarket selections.  

     Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary believes strongly in providing the local community with nourishing produce of  historical variety,  grown with organic methods, and honoring all life .  We also believe that the small business and family farm play a pivotal role in bringing variety and nourishment to local communities.  Small farms provide food security for their communities because the food grown does not require long transportation routes.  Small farms like ours also play a role in sustainability.  Our practices enrich the land and its life.  They do not diminish it.  Finally, we understand that the local small farm cannot exist without the support of the local people.  We understand that we are all connected, and we need one another to enrich and benefit the community.

   Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary is located in Englewood, Ohio, adjacent to the Englewood Reserve in the Stillwater River Valley.  It was created with a vision in mind.  I like to believe it started with a  conversation at the dinner table when I was ten.  A parent asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up.  My reply was, "I want to dig in the earth".  I remember a great laughter.  Since then,  I have "dug a lot in the earth," planting well over 300 fruit trees.  

   Before Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary was created, the land was overgrown with trees and brush.  Having never used a chainsaw or felled a tree,  I  cleared the land enough to plant a small orchard and establish a honeybee apiary.   It was a great learning experience.

   I have always loved and appreciated history.  I spent 20 years teaching history as a public school teacher.  My love of history and love of planting meshed into the vision I wanted for this project.  By creating Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary,  I wanted to provide an opportunity for the public to enjoy a unique  experience by sampling very old varieties of apples  and garlic from Europe, Asia,  and Colonial America.  These old varieties of apples and garlic were enjoyed and cherished by peoples across the centuries.  Many of these apples and garlic were created in  backyards from a saved seed and carry an individual's name or geographical points name rather than a label from a research lab.  Unfortunately,  these apples and garlic were discarded by the modern agricultural system for a variety of reasons.  Fortunately, enough people kept these old apple and garlic varieties alive by growing them.

     I want to bring these apples and garlic varieties back to our food culture.  These products have a taste and appearance unlike anything you will find in the chain grocery stores.  Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary is an apple tree and garlic sanctuary meant  to keep the past alive so that you may have a taste of history.