apple orchard
The orchard stretches out as far as the eye can see behind the West Tisbury home of apple growers Debbie and Eric Magnuson. Photo by Susan Safford

Harvest time at Tiasquin

By Pat Waring - September 6, 2007

It may look like Johnny Appleseed made a lengthy stop in West Tisbury years ago, but actually it was Eric and Debbie Magnuson who some 30 years ago planted the thriving rows of apple trees that make up Tiasquin Orchard. Situated at the Magnusons' State Road home, the orchard produces bushels of Macoun, MacIntosh, and Liberty apples every autumn. In a good year, the bounty adds up to about 50 bushels, Eric said. Pears, a smaller Tiasquin crop, won a coveted "Best in Show" ribbon at this year's Agricultural Fair and Debbie's fruit display won a first prize for the orchard. Thanks to the weather and various other factors, the yield has been good.

"This is the best year we've had in years," said Debbie this week. "We've got tons."

The Magnusons sell their fruit at Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown and occasionally by the roadside out front. The apples are also used to make fresh cider the old-fashioned way for the annual Harvest Festival at the Ag Hall.

The orchard is named after the Tiasquin River right nearby. The word is an alternate name for the better-known "Tiasquam," Eric explains.

Although this year is seeing a bumper crop, the Magnusons always must fend off deer, crows, and other pests who like their apples too.

"We share," Debbie says with a laugh.