April 17, 2020
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Check out Backyard Orchards for yourself!
Cassie and Allie are two sisters who grew up on a farm and as adults have taken their love of agriculture to a whole new level. Their story started on their family’s row crop farm, scouting cotton as teenagers and helping their dad at farmers markets with the peaches they grew. Then, degrees in agriculture and an interest in horticulture in college put more tools in their belt to help them move toward a farming future of their own.
Before long the girls started Backyard Orchards, with the help of their father, on the family land. Once they decided to start it, they jumped right into the deep end, planting strawberries, blueberries, peach trees, plums, squash, watermelon and more. Because their farm was on a newly expanded 4-lane highway it was the perfect opportunity for them to open up the farm and help more people connect with it through a U-pick model. Then, they built their farm store, added bathrooms and eventually amped up their road signs and the rest, is history!
I arrived at Backyard Orchards on an unusually hot spring day in Alabama to a warm southern welcome from the two sisters. After a quick look around their busy farm store, we jumped into the UTV for a tour and tasting of the farm. The first stop was at the blueberry bushes. Allie, who is an extension agent in the county was able to tell me about the variety and a little more about the plant. Now, I’m not usually a blueberry fan, but I tried one…then another, and just kept going. SO GOOD!
Next up was a trip to the huge strawberry patch where a mother and her son were picking the ripe red berries.
The sisters explained that this was the end of strawberry season and that due to the early heat, there weren’t many good berries left. Despite that, I hunted around and gathered up plenty of fresh and juicy red strawberries. Once again, when I got started it was hard to stop!
We continued down the path to the peach orchard. Early harvest had just begun so the sisters let me pick one and it was delicious as well!
Last but definitely not least on our "fruitful" trip around the farm was to the large watermelon field....one of my favorites!
All in all my day at Backyard Orchards was not only full of absolutely delicious fruit and new experiences, but it was a day of learning. I always love getting to see and experience family operations. While the sisters were the first to say, it’s not always easy, they are chasing after their dreams while getting to connect their community to agriculture, which is a WIN-WIN in the Backyard Orchards book!
April 17, 2020
I watched you eat that peach in Alabama. I want you to come to Western Colorado and meet Marty Fuller at Fuller Orchards at Palisade CO. She’s the hardest working orchardist I know. She manages the puckers and the packing house like no one I’ve ever seen. Marty must be in her 70’s or plus and she’s out there every day. She’s a retired school teacher and she’s worked every day since. I want you to eat one of her peaches. You’ll never forget it. They start in late July or early August depending on weather and go until in September. Next comes pears and then apples. This valley grows all the stone fruits, cherries, apricots and plums but is known best for peaches. Palisade Peaches are shipped all over the US and you should come taste them. Would love to have you.
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