Meet Eliza Greenman, Innovative Orchardist

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Millennial Eliza Greenman made a decision to veer from the status quo and return to the land. She describes herself as an orchardist, fruit explorer and farm activist. Greenman has focused her attention on food-producing trees and began with pruning neglected apple trees in Maine. Currently, she is taking care of an orchard in Loudon County, Viriginia, which she writes about on her blog.

Andrew Weidman of met up with Greenman to document her experience and delve into what makes her tick. The article includes a great look at the challenge of selling “ugly apples.” The answer is cider.

Here’s an excerpt that discusses the fact that cider producers are interested in the content of the apple over the appearance:

The demand for hard cider apples is so great; cider makers have been buying up all the second-grade fancy stock apples they can find. That does make good cider, but for great cider, you need cider varieties, more tannic, less acidic, and more well rounded than the Galas, Honeycrisps, and Red Delicious apples of the produce section. Which leads us back to Eliza’s fruit exploration. She regularly tracks down abandoned orchards, not just for potential renovation, but hunting for escapes. Some spectacular cider apples are the chance-pollinated offspring of orchard apples and wild crabs. They may not be much to look at, but they’re magic in the bottle, and in the glass.

Read the full article on

  • Photography: Mary Bigham
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