On Saturday, October 6th, our class traveled down to Fifer’s Orchard in Camden, DE, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the operation. Fifer’s is a multidimensional business, so we were very fortunate that we had the chance to meet with two of the Fifer’s brothers in spite of their undoubtedly busy schedules.
On the farm they grow a wide variety of crops, including notably sweet corn, pumpkins, peaches, and asparagus. A large variety of crops involves a variety of management practices. Echoing this point, the family uses basically every type of irrigation system from trickle to hard hose irrigation. Beyond production, the farm utilizes a wide variety of markets. They have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and an on property market. They are also involved in farmer’s markets throughout all of Delmarva.
Family-run agribusinesses often have many unique challenges and advantages. However after seeing how this family manages production, finances, weather, and regulations, it is clear that Fifer’s Orchards is an extremely impressive operation.