On upper King Street in northwest backcountry Greenwich between Bedford Road and Locust Road, nine acres of forest have been cleared for the new Versailles Orchard. Steve and Ingrid McMenamin, who created Versailles Farm on Locust Street on the property they purchased in 2012, are undertaking a new orchard farming venture as their next step.
The McMenamins, who personally labor tirelessly at the Farm, designed and built Versailles Farm to regenerate vegetables and other foods which were native to Greenwich hundreds of years ago. This process uses natural methods promoting good soil health and plant vitality that are resistant to disease and insects without pesticides and herbicides. After harvest, cover crops and indigenous micro organisms are used to replenish the soil. The farm sells 50 some products with a focus on shiitake mushrooms, spring flow honey, biochar. lump charcoal, maple syrup, and truffle honey. Native wild flowers are abundant on the property for the local bees and their hives .
The new orchard will also follow the density growing methods used at Versailles Farm. In addition, and in keeping in the tradition of developing new and better processes, Versailles Orchard will employ the espalier approach which uses trellis to grow trees horizontally which takes less space and produces results quickly and in more quantity than the more common vertical method. The orchard will not only grow a variety of apples, but also quince, black currant, blueberries, plums, cranberry,, and paw paw (a fruit native to the northeast).
As Versailles Orchard is starting up, the McMenamins have also decided to sell Versailles Farm. They seek a buyer who will continue to farm and grow for the local community with nutrient dense produce. They want to emphasize to everyone in the Round Hill and Northwest Greenwich area they are not leaving the area and Versailles Orchid is just a new type of farm which will keep them serving their loyal customers and neighbors. Versailles Farm will participate in the Round Hill Neighbor Day coming up this fall.