Orchard Tours




FEBRUARY 16 to 20, 2002


Saturday (February 16, 2002) Tours

Jamie Kidston Orchard, Vernon. Jamie is a third generation grower on the same land. He planted his first super spindle in 1992, and his standard spacing is now 2 x 10 ft. He buys bench grafts and plants them in their final location (rather than in a nursery).

More Jamie Kidston Orchard pictures

Jack Shore/Ron Patterman Orchard, Vernon. Jack is a grower with a proverbial green thumb. He retired from farming in 1990 but could not stay away and started a new orchard in 1993. This 22-acre orchard is completely super spindle (mostly 2 x 9 ft) and varieties include Gala, Fuji and other modern cultivars. New plantings have consistently produced over 50 bins/acre in the third leaf. Year 2000 production totaled 1000 bins from 16 producing acres with trees from 2 to 8 years in age. Jack re-retired in 2000 and the orchard is now operated by his son-in-law, Ron.

More Jack Shore/Ron Patterman Orchard pictures

Wyatt Laing Orchard, Okanagan Centre. Wyatt retired from a former occupation in 1985 and started farming with no preconceived ideas of "the right way" of doing things. He has replanted his 20-acre orchard since 1990 with spindle and super spindle trees. Varieties include Gala, Spartan and Ambrosia. In fact, he was the first in the north Okanagan to plant Gala. He is an innovative grower.

More Wyatt Laing Orchard pictures

Tuesday (February 19, 2002) Tours

Mike Melinchuk Orchard, North Kelowna. Mike was 18 when he took over the orchard from his dad. He currently farms 70 acres in the Ellison region of north Kelowna with his spouse Priscilla. Mike does not limit himself to one style of planting, preferring to match the density and training system to the variety and site. He has been planting super spindle since 1992, including 2 x 9 ft and 2 x 10 ft plantings of Gala and Honeycrisp.

More Mike Melinchuk Orchard pictures

Brian Witzke Orchard, Kelowna. Brian took over the family farm at a young age and works with his wife Dorothy and son Shayne. Brian has been at the forefront of new varieties and high density plantings. His farming is characterized by an aggressive pruning style and close attention to detail.

More Brian Witzke Orchard pictures

Jim Elliot Orchard, Oyama. Jim and his wife Julie have been farming since 1983 and run a total of 50 acres in Oyama. Jim planted his first super spindle block in 1995. His orchard includes many apple varieties, the main ones being Spartan, Gala and McIntosh. Jim has recently planted his first high density cherry block of Lapins and Sweetheart at a spacing of 4 x 15 ft. He has grown his own nursery trees for replanting his orchard.

More Jim Elliot Orchard pictures

Tony DiMaria Orchard, Winfield. Tony and his wife Maria farm 23 acres in Winfield planted to d'Anjou pears, table grapes and a number of apple cultivars. They purchased a slender spindle orchard in 1989 and are slowly converting it to super spindle. They have been progressive in growing their own nursery, planting bench grafts and grafting trees. In their spare time, they manufacture wire clips for fastening super spindle trees to the trellis wires.

More Tony DiMaria Orchard pictures

Dave and Mike Stirling Orchards, Kelowna. Dave and Mike are third generation apple and cherry growers, farming 100 acres in the south Kelowna district. They farm independently, operating on owned and leased properties. The brothers both have post-secondary education in plant science and have put their education to good use, pioneering new varieties and planting techniques.

Bill Sandher Orchard, Kelowna. Bill began operating orchards in 1989. He started replanting to super spindle in 1995 and continues to do so today. Bill runs a total of 51 acres in Kelowna. Gala is the main variety on his farm, with some plantings of Fuji, Jonagold and Ambrosia. Bill has grown his orchards from sleeping eyes, bench grafts and nursery trees. He is a progressive grower who continues to change growing technique in order to produce quality fruit.

More Bill Sandher Orchard pictures

All photographs Copyright © 2002 Virtual Orchard, International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association, Win Cowgill, and Jon Clements

International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association