Back to All Events

Maine Apple Camp 2019

  • Camp NEOFA 213 North Trotting Park Road Montville, ME (map)

Apple Lovers! Orchardists! Cider Makers! Fruit Explorers!

Join fellow apple enthusiasts for Maine Apple Camp

August 16, 17, & 18, 2019

location: Camp NEOFA Liberty, Maine

Innovative Orcharding • Identifying and Preserving Heritage Varieties • New England Cider Revolution • Fungal Duff • Foraging Wild Fruit • Marketing the Crop • Cider Tasting • and more!



Noon Lunch @ Mofga in the Exhibition Hall
(294 Crosby Brook Rd Unity, ME 04988)
1:00 and 2:00 Tours of Maine Heritage Orchard @ MOFGA, Tom Vigue and Laura Sieger
(85 Crosby Brook Rd Unity, ME 04988)

4:00-6:00pm Check-In @ Camp NEOFA
(213 North Trotting Ln, Montville, ME 04941)
4:00-5:30pm Summer Apple Tasting (bring apples from home to share!)
5:30-7:00pm Dinner
8:00-10:00pm Cider Club (bring a bottle to share)


7:00-8:30am Breakfast
9:00-10:00am History of Apples in Maine, John Bunker
Processing Summer Apples, Emily Skrobis and Kate Wallace
10:00-10:30 Break
10:30-Noon Foraging Wild Apples (round table discussion), Matt Kaminsky
Orchard Innovations Across the Universe, Mike Biltonen
Noon-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-2:30pm Scything the Orchard; Snath Making, Sy Schotz
Marketing the Crop, Jack & Polly McDougal
2:30-3:00pm Break -or-
School & Community Orchards (short presentation), Richard Hodges
3:00-4:00pm Growing Apples in Australia—co-op’s, climate change & organic adaptation (presentation), Katie & Hugh Finlay
Malus Storytelling: Unusual Apples on Social Media, William Mullen & Sean Turley
4:00-4:30pm Break
4:30-5:45pm The Apple Family Tree, Cameron Peace
6:00-7:30pm Dinner
7:45-8:30pm Guided Cider Tasting, Khris Hogg & Chase Rochon
8:30-10:00pm Cider Club (bring a bottle to share)


7:00-9:00am Breakfast
9:00-10:00am Book Reading from Uncultivated with Q&A, Andy Brennan
10:00-Noon Unstructured: continuing discussions, swim, crafts, etc.
Noon Maine Apple Camp Ends


questions? email


Camp NEOFA is a traditional summer camp set-up with cabins with 10 bunks each. We will be designating cabins in several ways for the weekend:

  • Women's cabins

  • Men's cabins

  • All genders cabins (* good for couples)

  • Family cabins (* good for families with kids)

If you would like to have your own space we recommend camping in your own tent. There are lovely camping areas by the water and in the woods. We also have a limited number of tents ready-to-use, with a basic bed set up inside – please email for details on this option.


Meals will be cooked on site from high-quality ingredients and served at the central eating area at camp, amongst the pine trees. Please let us know in your registration form whether you have any specific dietary needs.

Programming for Teens

STEMports Half-Day Augmented Reality Meet-up

This is special program for teens that will take place at Camp NEOFA during Apple Camp. On Saturday August 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., teens aged 13+ can learn about augmented reality in a fun and open workshop. They can beta test the new STEMports game, get involved in hands-on activities and demos, and participate in a Q&A with the game co-design team and STEM experts – all while their parents participate in Maine Apple Camp workshops!

The Maine Math & Science Alliance’s STEMports Project is designed as an opportunity for youth to build their understanding of augmented reality technology and to explore the science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). These workshops are happening in rural communities all across Maine. This workshop is free but registration is limited so please follow this link to register: Questions? Email

Speaker & Facilitator Biographies

Andy Brennan – "Story Time" (Sunday morning)
Andy Brennan will read from his new book, "Uncultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider, and the Complicated Art of Making a Living" (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019). He is the owner of Aaron Burr Cidery, a small homestead farm located in New York state’s Catskills region that supplies cider to some of New York’s most renowned restaurants, including 11 Madison Park, Blue Hill/ Stone Barns and the Gramercy Tavern. He has been featured in The New York Times, on CBS Sunday Morning, in Wine Enthusiast magazine and in numerous other publications. As a prominent figure in the growing U.S. cider movement he frequently speaks at museums, events, radio and on podcasts advocating for a more traditional, ecological, and ethical approach to cider production.

Mike Biltonen – presenter of "Orchard Innovations Across the Universe" (Saturday morning)
Mike has farmed his entire professional career. He has horticulture degrees from Virginia Tech (BS ’86) and Cornell (MS ’92) as well as over 35 years of practical farming experience. Although his career started in the trenches at a large conventional orchard in Virginia, during his time at Cornell he became more aware and focused on sustainable orcharding and the need for greater ecological well-being of farms. Over the past 20 years he has worked as a practicing orchardist and consultant for growers looking to grow more holistic food, revealing the difficulties of doing so and what the path towards a biodynamic future looks like. His energies are now focused on helping growers navigate these transitional waters while becoming better farmers and maintaining viable businesses. He currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York where he is crop a consultant, advisor, mentor, writer, philosophizer, rabble-rouser and farmer with Know Your Roots, a small holistic company he owns and operates with his wife Debbie.

John Bunker – presenter of "History of Apples in Maine" (Saturday morning)
John Bunker is an apple historian, gardener and orchardist. His passion is tracking down, identifying and preserving rare apples. His recent book, "Apples and the Art of Detection" will be available this summer. He lives with Cammy Watts on Super Chilly Farm in Palermo Maine. To contact John or to learn more about John and Cammy’s activities, go to

Khristopher Hogg – guide for cider tasting (Saturday evening)
Khris Hogg is the chef/curator at Perennial Cider Bar + Farm Kitchen in Belfast. Prior to opening Perennial in 2019, Khris has worked as an organic farmer, writer and farm to table cook in northern New England and the Pacific Northwest. He was drawn to cider by the diversity of the apple, the idea that every seed can beget a new variety, the stories attached to the varieties we've already named, and the potential for each cider to connect to its place and time in its own way. He also just likes how traditional cider tastes (most of the time).  He lives with his wife and baby boy, Pippin, on their woodland homestead in Swanville, where he tends an ever-growing number of trees, mushroom logs, and other Perennial food crops, as well as miscellaneous other projects.

Casimir Holeski – leading roundtable discussion "Identifying & Preserving Varieties" (Saturday afternoon)
Casimir Holeski is a fruit explorer and grower living in Boundary County, Idaho. He is the founder of imagarden, a collaborative venture; I.M. Tree Crops, a permaculture-oriented nursery; and Boundary County Orchard Restoration Project. As a father of four, Casimir is actively inspired to think about future generations in the actions he takes today. Casimir is passionate about creating local food systems and believes the time is right for a shift in focus back to a locally based economy. It is his vision and intention to build a network of fruit explorers, growers and collaborators in north Idaho, the inland Northwest and beyond.

Matt Kaminsky – leading roundtable "Foraging Wild Apples" (Saturday morning)
Matt Kaminsky is an orchardist, cidermaker and arborist from western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley. He works for grower-producer Carr's Ciderhouse, where he also co-manages a sheep and goat silvopasture, as well as a nursery. His moniker, Gnarly Pippins, is also the name of his website, where you can find more writings on his apple-related projects and a variety of products from custom made pruning saws to wild apple scion wood and nursery stock seasonally. Keep up with him on Instagram: @gnarlypippins

Cameron Peace – keynote speaker, "The Apple Genome" (Saturday afternoon)
Cameron Peace is fascinated by fruit, genetics, history, and what breeding offers future generations. His research program at Washington State University brings the benefits of natural diversity and the genomics age to fruit breeding via "DNA-informed breeding." His current mission is to figure out how each apple tree is related to every other, putting them all onto a single apple family tree. He oversees the student-run Palouse Wild Cider Breeding Program in Pullman, Wash., that provides hands-on experiences for future scientists and is churning up interesting genetic combinations with much use of wild crab apple species. He is an associate professor in tree fruit genetics at Washington State University.

Chase Rochon – guide for "Cider Tasting" (Saturday evening)
Chase is a born and raised Mainer who has spent the past 10 years in the hospitality industry all around New England. After returning home from some time spent in Boston's cocktail scene, he took the role as front of house manager at Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Maine's only brewery/distillery/restaurant. Chase fell in love with cider at a young age and has been an avid supporter of the Maine craft cider movement. You can find him @ciderpedia on Instagram or in the heart of the Old Port mixing up cocktails and pouring out some of Maine's highest quality fermented beverages.

Sean Turley – facilitating the Summer Apple Tasting (Friday afternoon) and "Malus Storytelling" (Saturday afternoon)
Sean Turley is the former apple columnist for the Portland Press Herald who maintains a compendium of apple varieties on Instagram at @therighteousrusset. He has conducted an annual apple tasting in Portland over the last five years, focusing on traditional New England varieties. Sean is also a fledgling lawyer, fruit forager and amateur cidermaker who is always down to try the most righteous russet.

Tom Vigue – leading the tours of Heritage Orchard and "walk and talk" on "Fungal Duff and Companion Planting" (Friday afternoon)
Tom has a B.S. in agricultural science (1975) and has been a farmer/gardener and seed grower since then. He has been growing fruit since the mid 1980s, including less common fruit such as kiwi berries, cornelian cherries and sea berries. Tom is also a professional stone mason. He has been involved with the Heritage Orchard in Unity, Maine, since its inception.