North Star Orchards
North Star Orchards
The coronavirus has put a halt to production and purchasing power around the world. In Madison, North Star Orchards is dealing with the sudden changes.
Jennifer Dimock, who runs the orchard’s store, said “we are feeling it in our jam sales since we usually wholesale 8,000 jars to businesses around New England.” During a normal spring, Jen would be going to trade shows to wholesale the Jam, which have been canceled because of the virus.
The cancellation of the Maine Maple Sunday celebration has also taken a toll on the orchard; North Star Orchards runs through the heart of the maple syrup industry, Somerset County, which happens to be the largest maple syrup producing county in the United States. Visitors from all over come to visit the orchard each year to celebrate maple syrup and take some home with them.
The orchard customarily sells 15 gallons of syrup on Maple Sunday alone, sales that will be delayed until people start coming back to the shop. The Dimock’s find it quite alarming that the lack of tourism from COVID-19 could extend into the fall where they would normally get a lot of impulse purchases inside the store and sell their apple products to visitors.
The apple farm has been run by two generations of the Dimock Family, since Judy and Everett bought the farm in 1976. Their son Robert keeps the farm’s affairs in order and delivers apples each morning to grocery stores in Madison, Skowhegan, Farmington, Jay, Rumford, and Oxford. Their daughter Jennifer runs the store where they sell all of their delicious products! At the store, they also sell handcrafted merchandise from local artisans.
The orchard also holds its end-of-harvest celebration, Applesauce Sunday, during which applesauce-making demonstrations and make-your-own sundaes offer kid-friendly entertainment through the weekend of Indigenous People’s Day each year.
The bustling orchard is full of visitors in the fall where you can pick-your-own apples and take a walk or tractor ride through the orchard. When you do come to visit you can get a sneak-peek of the apple production process and workers filling up pallets to harvest 20,000 bushels of apples each season! Throughout the year the mountain ranges in western Maine, including Sugarloaf mountain, can be seen from the orchard’s hill, which is open to visitors (snowshoeing too!) all year.
Check out their website for more information!
Address: 97 Orchard Rd. Madison, ME 04950