Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont sits high in the Connecticut River Valley surrounded by hills and just minutes away from downtown Brattleboro and Interstate 91. The 600-acre farm, owned by Landmark Trust USA, is one of the most beautiful in all of New England.
Cultivated since 1791, and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Scott Farm was long cared for by three generations of the Holbrook family, who planted the original apple orchard in 1911. In 1995, the farm was given to the Landmark Trust USA, which also owns the adjacent Naulakha, Rudyard Kipling’s National Historic Landmark home.
Zeke Goodband is Scott Farm’s orchard manager. An accomplished horticulturalist, steeped in knowledge about heirloom apples, Zeke told NPR in 2014 that eating and growing heirloom apples is ‘sort of like a chain letter’ through history. Zeke has spent the past 30-some years in close company with several heirloom orchards, learning the craft of tending trees from old-timers and adding his own experience. Since coming to Scott Farm in 2000, he’s grafted thousands of trees onto the rootstock planted by Fred Holbrook. There are now over 70 varieties of heirloom apples, including some rarely seen on this side of the Atlantic. Each tree has its own personality, and Zeke knows the look, taste and character of each type of apple.
Scott Farm sells heirloom apples and a variety of other fruit, and offers educational programs and events as well as rental of several of the historic farm buildings, including the apple-packing barn, which is renovated to be energy-efficient and now produces more energy than it uses