Mike & Gretchen Perbix
Sweetland Orchard is owned by Mike & Gretchen Perbix and operated with the help of their families and friends. Photo by Jennifer Simonson.
Sam Falbo is a man of many talents. While he might be best known for his work designing our labels, you may not know that he’s an affable bartender, an efficient apple picker, and a semi-skilled pruner. Sam and his family have also sold apples for us at the farmers market and taken photos at the orchard, including two of the photos on our homepage. He also designed a poster and t-shirts for us.
Linda is Mike’s mom and works at the orchard with us on the weekends. In addition to selling apples, she’s also put in long hours painting and weeding and mowing grass and picking apples and you-name-it at the orchard. She’s tireless and, like Dianne, works at the orchard full-time during the season in addition to holding down her day job. As you can tell from this photo, she prefers to work behind the scenes.
Dianne is Gretchen’s mom and has given up the farmers market to work at the orchard with us on the weekends. Like Linda, she works tirelessly for the orchard, much of it behind the scenes, and puts in a forty-hour week in addition to her day job. I took her picture holding one of the best looking Sweet Sixteens we’ve ever grown.
Dick is Mike’s dad and he’s the first person you’ll see when you visit the orchard. Dick loves people and loves to make your experience here a good one. When he sold for us at the Northeast Farmers Market, he started the claim that our cider donuts are “unbelievably delicious!”
Fletcher is our fun-loving border collie who, while not as skilled at varmint hunting as Clementine, nevertheless helps police the property for deer. When you visit the orchard, you’ll definitely see Fletcher in his role as official greeter, especially of kids. We’ve told him that his job is to greet new visitors, provide them with something to throw (stick, ball, pinecone, apple), and retrieve it. He doesn’t think he’ll have a problem with that job. In fact, he’s challenged us to bring as many visitors as we can. Fletcher’s philosophy is that the more stuff he can fetch, the better.
Boris is the newest (canine) addition to our family. Where Fletcher is the jock, Boris is the lover. We hope that while Fletcher fetches, Boris can be pet (since Fletcher never tolerates that). We think of it this way: Fletcher’s the dog for the kids and Boris is the dog for the adults. Like all of our dogs, he’s a rescue and has a heart of gold.