Sharon Orchards is passionately owned and operated by Paul and Cathy Hope. They are the only farm on the Farm to Fork tour that isn’t a generational farm – they moved to their property in Sharon with the intention of retiring and being close to their children, but little did they know where the three neglected apple trees in the back yard of their new property would lead them! After some pruning and TLC the next year the trees yielded 35 bushels of heirloom MacIntosh apples – they had so many they were giving them away – and that inspired them to start The Sharon Orchard business and plant more trees – 500 to be exact.
Paul’s passion for agriculture stems from his father, who lived to be 102-years-old. He ran a herd of dairy cattle in the 1960’s, was an avid gardener, and believed in a good day’s work. Working with his father sparked the same passion for Paul, and a deep appreciation for the soil and everything that grows from it – including apples! Paul is the driving force behind the planting, tending and harvest of all the produce at the orchard.
Cathy steps in once the harvest begins. In a red portable at the end of the lane, Cathy is the smiling face you will see selling their fresh produce; including six different kinds of apples, and a variety of fresh organic produce. Almost everything you can purchase in the market was grown on the Hope’s property – even the honey is made from bee hives that are brought to the orchard each spring to pollinate the apple blossoms.
The Hope’s Philosophy has been the same for decades; put in an honest day’s work and sell what you grow. Cathy says “Almost everything we’ve done, we’ve always done it together – it just works.”