Palisade Orchard since 1972
After hitchhiking to the Amazon River with my girlfriend (now my wife) we settled down here in Palisade. That was 1972. I wanted to be an organic grower and for two years we tried to do it that way. The pesticide usage required to grow fruit organically is, ironically, huge. I've settled on what I consider a more rational program that allows me to bring fruit to market that has not been sprayed, but is not organic.
That makes this my 45th harvest and I'll be doing several more, at least that's the plan. All these years I've planted with diversity in mind. We now have dozens of varieties of plums, pluots and peaches. If it's a little different, I want it in my orchard. This way we keep our stands interesting and unique. I have a special affection for apricots and we grow a lot of them. Often they will be frozen out because they bloom way too early. I've had open apricot blooms in February some years and that's ridiculous.
No farmers, and that was the plan for my three kids. Farming is too risky for normal people. You have to be bitten by the bug to stick with it and take the punishment. Although, I have to say, we've had a nice run the last 15 years. My son wants to own the farm eventually and we have a very capable foreman who can run it for him. And I'll probably be dithering around till I drop, giving advice and probably being ignored.