Field Trip to Fifer Orchards Farm

Hunter Willoughby standing in front of the Fifer’s Country Store after purchasing apple cider donuts.

Bobby and Curt Fifer are fourth generation family farmers that are part owners of Fifer Orchards. On Saturday, September 28th 2019, Bobby and Curt gave us a tour of their amazing family operation. When I first arrived I was very excited to see that the annual fall fest was going on. Ever since I can remember, my family and I would go to the fall fest together and we always a great time. They have activities from picking and painting pumpkins to a giant corn maze. At the country store they sell the best donuts and ice cream which is a must anytime you are at Fifers. Along with this event, Fifer Orchards does a lot more than what the public can see. As we took a tour around their farm we got to see all the different kinds of crops they grow. One of the crops that really stood out to me was the strawberries. These stood out to me because they are planted under a black plastic cover which helps prevent diseases. Bobby Fifer is testing a new theory this year with the strawberries. Bobby covered every other row with white plastic and the others with the normal black plastic. The purpose of this is to try and spread out the harvesting dates so they are able to harvest all the strawberries and not lose the crop. The black plastic which is typically used attracts the sunlight which will make the strawberries under the black plastic peak before the strawberries under the white plastic. We will not know if this theory was successful  until harvest season but I am very anxious to see the results. Along with that theory, I also learned that most of their crops are hand picked which means they use no machinery. With not using machinery, you need lots of good labor to be able to keep up with the crops and Bobby has some great workers there.

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