The Fabrizio family moved to Windy Ridge in the summer of 1967. The farm had been owned by Russell Dexter’s family and had operated as a dairy farm for more than 80 years. Mom and Dad pondered a few options for the land including a dairy and/or campground but settled on the idea of apples. The first trees were planted behind the house in 1968 and the Sugarloaf Block was planted in 1971. Within a couple of years the five Fabrizio kids could be seen selling apples on the front lawn. As the orchard grew, operations were moved into the garage. With the help of Grandpa Fabrizio, a cider room and sales room were built in the garage and bushel boxes of apples were stored in the car port. Sales were conducted on an honor system and the first school group (Haverhill Cooperative Pre-School) came for a tour in the early 80′s. During this time Dad worked full-time as the Grafton County 4-H Agent, Mom was a full-time French-then Special Ed.-then Second Grade Teacher, and the kids kept an active 4-H dairy and sheep farm. During harvest time, the family could often be seen picking into the late hours of darkness, stacking the bushel boxes into the old pick-up.
The Black Mountain Block was planted in 1980 and the current apple building with cold storage was built in 1983. The small gift shop opened at this time and operated throughout the harvest season. Most of the apples and fresh pressed apple cider were sold to area supermarkets (Butson’s and Kelly’s). Dad continued to gain reputation for great quality fruit and Mom kept busy working the store after school and on weekends.
In the mid 1990′s the latest planting took place in the 7 Oaks Block. These trees of new (Honey Crisp) and old varieties (Mac and Cortlands) were planted on a trellis system for increased productivity and ease of picking. In 1995 Dad retired from County Extension, Mom retired in 1998, and Sheila returned from the Peace Corps. Since that time the family has made a concerted effort to create a family destination for local friends and visitors. The farm animals, playground, and nature trails were all started at this time and Sheila began selling Cider Doughnuts from her concession stand. Many have watched Windy Ridge grow over the years and the farm will continue to add new surprises. What you experience today at Windy Ridge is a culmination of fun ideas and small steps of growth. Windy Ridge’s consistent mission is to provide top quality fruit and a friendly farm experience for the whole family.