Andrew's Blog


A City Boy Making His Way in the Country
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A Bittersweet Transition

IMG_2355It’s with mixed emotions that we tell you Orchard House B&B is for sale. If you have upcoming reservations, or were thinking of booking a room, fear not as Orchard House will continue whether Donald and I are on the premises or not. And while we’ll be moving with most of the animals, some will remain, to continue our legacy on the farm. This all being said, if you’re interested in owning Orchard House, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be moving 10 minutes away and are happy to help as much as needed with the transition.

We’re moving because it’s all become just a little too much. Many of you who’ve stayed with us comment enthusiastically about how you don’t know how we do it all. And well, with baby Harper, we’ll admit, it’s become a little taxing. So we’re moving to a private home that will offer Don a secure office as he continues to work for his company, give Andrew the space to garden, bake, and rediscover his much loved passions that have been pushed to the back-burner, give Harper the land every wanna-be Huck Finn deserves, and offer the llamas an amazing outdoor space with mature trees and a stream within their pasture.

Let us reiterate, if you have an upcoming reservation, or were thinking of booking in the near future, fear not. Your reservation is secure. We have a wonderful house, built in 1850, and it offers charm unparalleled in Granville. And it will continue to welcome travelers on their journey. And if you need a llama fix, don’t hesitate to contact Don or I – or come by Orchard House and see baby Confetti Chorizo.

We felt an obligation to let you know what’s going on. Because you’re part of the history, and future, of our home. And again, if you’ve always dreamed of owning a B&B, please email us. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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My Apologies

We’ll it’s been some time since my last blog post. The main reason:

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Also, I forgot my password and for some reason was having some real struggles getting it re-set. But here we are – back again!

Baby isn’t going to keep me in the corner. We’ve had a lot happen over the past few months. We’ve had new arrivals to the farm, we’ve lost some friends, and everyday new experiences are greeting us.

Today, the sheep were sheared. Yes, it’s late, I know. But shearers are few and far between. Today, I asked my old thyme man about it and he said it’s a dying breed. Of course, Don instantly suggested I learn the trade.

Be assured, our blog is back up and running. And now it’s I who is running, the escape the lightening as I feed the animals tonight.

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Autumn’s just arrived and I need to think about winter?

It seems like the leaves have just started changing this week. The colors are amazing, the pumpkins look great, and the temperature is just lovely. And soon it’ll all be gone. These days, it’s almost like we can’t live in the moment. We prepare for what’s coming and then, once it arrives, we immediately start getting ready for the next big thing. Our celebrations are premature, anticipatory, and always forward-looking. Christmas decorations are already for sale (and have been for a while). And we haven’t even celebrated Halloween yet.

I’m taking a stand this season. No Christmas decorations are going up until after Thanksgiving. I will live in the moment. I will respect autumn, knowing full well that winter will be here soon enough. Although, I really should get out there and gather up that bittersweet. It’ll look great in the holiday wreaths!

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Cider Season

It’s cider season – and this year, I’ve attempted to make my own. Below are some hard-learned lessons about home cider production.

1) To make more than a thimble full of cider, you need a lot of apples. A lot.

2) You have to core (and if you feel like it, peel) all those apples.

3) Again, to make more than a cup of cider, you need a lot of apples. Like a lot.

4) You need to strain your apple mush through cheesecloth (or strainer should you choose). That’s work. And energy.

5) A gallon of cider in the store is about $4.

6) To make more than a gallon of cider, you’ll need a massive amount of apples. Like an orchard or something.

7) Our cider will become hard cider – you need yeast for that. And someone that knows what they’re doing.

My intention is not to scare you away from making your own cider. More importantly, I just want to make sure you have enough apples; and know what you’re getting yourself involved with. There’s a lot of peeling, pulsing, squeezing and straining. In the end, maybe you should just grab that gallon jug at the store and spend your time carving pumpkins and celebrating the season with friends and family.

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It’s Tree Planting (and planning) Season

It’s that time of year again, time get some new trees in the ground. Not too hot, not too cold, the air, soil and environment are just right for planting. At Orchard House, we try and plant 4 or 5 new trees a year. Not only is it good for the environment, but it helps to reclaim a little of this farmland back for Mother Nature.

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This year we put in some poplars (that were destroyed by the mowing company – 1 remains), replaced an apple tree, put in a crabapple and a redbud (one of my favorites) and today planted 2 more. The real difficulty, as I’m not a great planner, is to think longterm with these trees – how tall will the grow, what’s their width, what do I want to do in the area around them? So I’ve tried as best I can.

But even the best planned intentions can run amok. Last year I planted some wonderful heirloom apple trees, and a few weeks ago one of the goats escaped, tried to reach the leaves growing on one, and snapped it in half. Destroyed. Hateful. Re-planted something new. My gardening mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, Lowes is just down the street.

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