تعرّف على المزارع

الأبطال الذين يزرعون فاكهتك الصحية المفضلة

تجسد عائلات عادية مثل عائلتك جوهر مجتمع زراعة التفاح في واشنطن، ويبلغ متوسط مساحة البستان الواحد نحو 100 فدان. يوجد في واشنطن 1,700 مُزارع تفاح، وهم لا ينظرون إلى زراعة التفاح بصفتها مهنة فحسب؛ بل أسلوب حياة.

يعمل مزارعو التفاح في واشنطن طوال العام لإنتاج هذه الفاكهة المميزة التي أصبح العالم بأسره يعرفها ويتوق إليها. يكرس مزارعو التفاح حياتهم كلها لهدف واحد، ألا وهو ضمان ازدهار بساتينهم ونموها؛ بداية من تقليم الأشجار في فصل الشتاء، ومراقبة البساتين بعناية وهي تزهر في الربيع، وإزالة الثمار الصغيرة لتتمكن الثمار الكبيرة من النمو في الصيف، وصولاً إلى جمع المحصول يدويًا في الخريف.

نود أن نعرّفك على بعض مزارعينا:

Kurt Guelich

Kurt Guelich’s story begins with his father who came over from Germany after World War II. After arriving in Riverside, WA (just outside of Omak), he bought a dairy farm that came with a small apple orchard. His father soon realized he preferred trees to cows and sold the dairy farm, expanding the orchards that Kurt would later inherit.

Greg Moser with wife
Porfirio Covarrubias

Porfirio Covarrubias

Meet Porfirio Covarrubias – an orchardist who has truly worked his way up from the bottom. Porfirio was born and raised in the small Mexican village of Jechitlin. When he was just 15 years old, Porfirio and his older brother went to California with their father to pick limes, strawberries and grapes.

Rowe Family

The Rowe family moved to Washington from Indianapolis in 1889. In 1894, great-great-grandmother Lennie Rowe filed claim for 200 acres of “Desert Lands” near Yakima on which she started growing hops. Her son Walter took over 1,000 acres of land by Olympia, but this plot proved unsuccessful and Walter sold the land. Determined to establish profitable land, Walter bought land near Zillah where he grew apples, pears, and cherries. He was finally successful and continued to be throughout his lifetime

Rowe Family
Geoff Thorton with family

Geoff Thornton

In 1904, Geoff’s great grandparents homesteaded in Quincy, WA. In 1908, they moved to Cashmere where they began the family orchard. Geoff’s grandfather, Roy Thornton, sold the original nine-acre orchard and house in Chelan County in order to purchase 100 acres in the Tonasket area in 1924. Geoff’s father grew up working in the orchard, but was drafted into the army in April of 1942. In 1972, he inherited 20 acres of the original farm and Geoff, then 9 years old, began helping in the orchard. Geoff attended Washington State University and Eastern Washington University, and then returned to Tonasket in 1986 to begin his farming career.

Gene Bliesner

Meet Gene Bliesner. Gene’s grandparents emigrated from Germany to Fairfield, WA become wheat farmers. Gene grew up working on the family farm before graduating from Washington State University where he earned a degree in animal science. After graduating, Gene turned away from farming, working instead in the banking and agricultural loan industry for 20 years.

Gene Bliesner
Jack Toevs

Jack Toevs

Meet Jack Toevs, a Washington apple grower whose family farming roots can be traced all the way back to the 1600’s in Holland. Over the centuries, the family migrated to Poland, Russia, and Kansas before Jack’s parents moved to Ephrata, Washington.

Jeff Mills

Jeff Mills is an apple grower from Orondo, Washington.  He lives with his wife Kerri, a fifth-grade teacher, and his two sons Michael and Reed. The family’s 75 acre orchard boasts six varieties of apples – Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Braeburn, Fuji and Cripps Pink.

Jeff Mills
Jim Flemming

Jim Fleming

Meet Jim Fleming – an orchardist who didn’t even start his farming career until he retired from the job he had held for 40 years! Jim’s career in agriculture began in 1962 when he and his wife Sandy moved from Kitsap County, WA to Orondo, WA to work for Auvil Fruit Company. In 1980, he and his family relocated to Vantage, WA where they planted new orchards and built Controlled Atmosphere facilities for Auvil Fruit. By the time he retired in 1992, there were 500 acres of orchards in Vantage. Jim wasn’t ready to slow down, so he launched his second career as a full-time farmer.

Mark Stennes

Meet Mark Stennes, a fourth generation orchardist from Pateros, Washington. Mark’s great-grandfather homesteaded in 1894 and planted his first apple trees in 1900. The original 55-acre orchard expanded in 1984 – now boasting 250 acres of fruit trees.  In addition to 60 acres of apples, including Fuji (organic), Honey Crisp (organic), Gala, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, Mark grows pears, cherries, plum and pluots. 

mark-stennes
Greg Moser

Greg Moser

Greg Moser truly does it all. Over the last 30 years he has successfully juggled many positions including: grower, marketer, CEO, father, and even a basketball coach. Now, Greg focuses the majority of his efforts on serving as the General Manager of Gold Digger Apples, Inc. in Oroville, Washington. Gold Digger currently owns over 700 acres of apples, pears, and cherries, so this more than a full time job. It is rare that he has a weekend off.