This morning started off at Rest Awhile Fruit Stand in Pateros, where we picked up the first peach of the season; Queen Crest. She's early and kind of small but the smell in the van is almost intoxicating. Amy Wu bought this farm from Bill and Lois Woods about five years ago and began working to change it from a conventional IPM farm to a certified organic farm. This is Rest Awhile's first year as a certified organic farm. Congratulations Amy!
Now we're waiting for the rainier's to be packed at Bartella Farm in Omak. We've been buying organic and conventional fruit from John and Cindy Bartella for eleven years, since we first started Madrona Grove. During the course of those years they phased out conventional farming practices across the board and now the farm is fully certified organic. This will be their last year farming here though, because they have sold the farm to a young man named Autumn, who plans to continue growing most of the fruit varieties that John has perfected here up on the Omak flats. We are really going to miss John and Cindy but are relieved to know that we'll still be able to get the high quality organic fruit we've come to expect from this farm. We've also heard little rumours that John won't be able to completely give up farming, and his new spot down by the Okanogan River sounds like it's good for growing food, as well as fishing for steelhead.
So stay tuned, and be sure to come on out to the fruit stand on Tuesday or Friday from 12:00 to 7:00 pm for a taste of summer sunshine from Eastern Washington.