When our fourth graders recently visited Delicious Orchards, Jeff Schwartz, the owner, guided us through his fruit extravaganza. The students learned so much about running a local business.
First of all, Jeff Schwartz took the students on a tour of his family store, the cafe, and his wife Tracey's yarn shop. Then he took everyone outside to explore the beautiful garden beds. They grow onions, beets, lovely carrots, sweet cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, basil, asparagus, and greens. Some of the plants were annuals, but mainly they grow grand perennials.
Next, the students trudged past the Schwartz's 150 chickens to their orchards. Believe it or not, the orchards are over 100 years old! Their friendly dog, Lego, was on duty to protect the chickens from wild intruders.
This energetic farmer explained that they grow red apples, seven types of peaches, pears, cherries, nectarines and grapes. The first peaches are ready in July, and then a different type is available every week after that. Wow! That was one of Jeff's ideas.
We learned how the Schwartz family must be very organized, or their business can fail. There is a certain amount of risk when running an orchard, too, because our Colorado springtime can possibly freeze the crops and there will be nothing to sell. Also, severe drought can be harmful to plants. The orchard uses an efficient drip system that was originally developed in Israel. It is used to conserve water, so it goes directly to the plants' roots. When running a business, Mr. Schwartz said they try not to waste anything. That includes not only strange-looking vegetables and fruits, but our precious water.
Last but not least, we were introduced to Miss Kitty and Six Pack, the two yaks from Tibet. Since the price of diesel fuel fluctuates, Mr. Schwartz has a back-up plan for his tractor. He can use Six Pack to till the soil. It's another one of his creative ideas to help with the cost of running a business.
Truly, our class had a phenomenal experience while visiting Delicious Orchards. Thanks to the Schwartz family for teaching us about one of our local Paonia businesses. We are so fortunate to have them in our beloved valley!blog comments powered by Disqus