Sunrise Orchards

Staff

An amazing apple experience is being wowed by the color and condition of the apple when you first lay eyes on it, taking it in your hands and biting into it and instantly sensing a juicy sweetness with a snap of crisp flesh.  In order to deliver this experience, we rely on our highly skilled staff to carefully grow and handle the fruit.  This carefulness includes managing the nutrients needed in the soil, monitoring insects and disease, treating for these when necessary, mowing to keep competing weeds down, picking the fruit at the right maturity and, with care so as not to bruise, hauling it back to the barn to be packed and sent out on the delivery route the next morning or stored in our coolers for later consumption.  Once harvest is over the quest for the amazing apple has really just begun.  Throughout the winter we prune about a third of the approximately 60,000 trees on our farm, we monitor the quality of the apples in storage, we pack the apples 5-6 days a week  and distribute them all over the Northeast.

Our staff includes Vermonters and Jamaicans, working together to produce extraordinary apples in Cornwall!

Barney Hodges

Barney Hodges

Owner

Barney grew up on the farm, and was always keenly interested in all parts of the business.  Over the years he has done all the jobs that occur each year on the farm, from cutting root suckers and pruning, to picking and packing , to driving the truck, the forklift and the mower.  Barney now mostly spends his time doing the big picture planning, apple sales and development and management of our storage facility in Shoreham, VT.  Barney also loves cross country skiing and he and Chris spend winter weekends coaching kids in Ripton, VT.

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Christiana Hodges

Christiana Hodges

Owner

Like Barney, Chris wears many hats at the farm, but focuses on our direct store delivery sales, marketing our apples, management of our IPM and Eco-Apple programs, and development of our cider and other apple products.  Chris' special interests lie in developing advanced IPM techniques and educating the public about the business of growing apples.  Chris grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and met Barney in college, moving to the farm in 1995. 

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Eric Boire

Eric Boire

Operations manager

Eric began working at our farm at the age of 15 when he lived about a mile away.  Since then he has done multiple jobs including pruning, spraying, scouting and IPM work and packing.  Eric now manages our packing house and deals with trucking and distribution logistics, making sure our apples are high quality and get where they need to go.  Eric also manages our food safety program, making sure we are up to date at all times.

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David Dolginow

David Dolginow

Sales, Development, and Technology

David joined the Sunrise Orchards crew in 2010. He focuses on developing new products for the orchard, including apple sauce, hard cider, apple jack, and a line of frozen vegetables. David also works to open up new customers for the Sunrise Orchards apples. He graduated with high honors from Middlebury College in 2009 as a religion and geography major.

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Diane Derrick

Diane Derrick

Financial Director

Diane Derrick has been working with us in our office since the spring of 2007.  Diane is our in-house number cruncher and budget wrangler, riding the rollercoaster that is farm finances while keeping a smile on her face.   Diane is from the Sturbridge area of Massachusetts and she brings a special sense of humor to our office that is rarely found in this part of the world.  She keeps us on track, on the ground and is truly an indispensable asset to Sunrise Orchards!

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Barney and Dee Hodges

Barney and Dee Hodges met in New York City in 1961 and were married 6 months later on Mason's Island, Mystic, Connecticut.  Barney was an aspiring actor at the time and Dee was working in the advertising world of Madison Avenue, but both yearned to feel and see the land more closely than they could in NYC.  Barney had grown up on a farm, raising both cattle and apples and was looking to strike out on his own when they decided to move to Vermont.  40 years later, they still live on the farm and are active participants in the day to day operations of the business.

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Dan Brown

Dan Brown

Field Operations

Dan is our eyes and ears in the orchard during every season of the year.  He heads up the spray and mowing programs during the spring and summer, and the pruning program during the winter months.  Dan trains all of our new pruners, passing on his valuable knowledge of fruit tree development.  Dan is also our in house mechanic, tending to all sorts of equipment on the rain days.  Dan has  been working at Sunrise Orchards since 1978, and in the process has come to know every mud hole and every frost pocket!

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Jason  Billings

Jason Billings

Jason is a lover of the outdoors, spending his days teaming up with Dan in the management of the apple trees, including pruning, spraying, mowing or collecting samples for the IPM program.  During harvest Jason makes sure the apples get back to the barn safely and works diligently for weeks in a row to make sure all the apples get picked!  When he isn't at work, you can still find him outside hunting, tending his garden or taking walks with his dog. Jason has worked at Sunrise since 1999. 

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William Boyd

William Boyd

Delivery

William Boyd is a resident of Jamaica, and our driver for our delivery route, traveling around Vermont 4 days a week, delivering apples right to the doors of our customers.  William is well loved by all of the produce department managers that he comes in contact with, and hardly ever misses a day of delivery- driving through snow, sleet, and ice, to make sure the stores get their apples.  William has been working at Sunrise since 1986 and is a valuable team member in the sales of our products!

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The Harvest Crew

The Harvest Crew

Every year we welcome 30-50 Jamaican men to our farm from about August 15th through the end of October.  Many of these guys have been coming to our farm for 20-25 years and we would never be able to pick a crop without them.  Their skilled and efficient work is one of the keys to our farm's success. 

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Paul Warner

Delivery/Packing House/Field

Paul began work at Sunrise Orchards during the summer of 2009.  Paul is our local deliveries driver, getting our apples to local restaurants, Middlebury College, area schools and several Shaw's and Price Chopper markets in our region.  Paul also supports the packing crew on non-delivery days, making sure boxes are made and apples are loaded.  Paul also has pruned apple trees and managed "the dock" during harvest, making sure each bin that comes in from the field is properly tagged and stacked.

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