5.01.2007

A Gem on Lake Roosevelt: Sherman Creek Orchard

One of the treasures in my area is Sherman Creek Orchard. I was amazed when I moved to this location that it was warm enough to have fruit orchards. Located down both sides of Lake Roosevelt from Kettle Falls are a variety of orchards. The longer growing season along this "banana belt" makes for perfect conditions for cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, plums, and pears. One day last week the cherry trees were still bare, but Saturday when I returned home I saw that part of the orchard in bloom. As each variety of fruit blooms, the orchard evolves into a different look each week.
Sherman Creek Orchard is family owned and operated. Their sign advertises the orchard, but throughout the fruit harvests wood signs advertising the fruit available hang in view of motorists passing by. If you arrive to get fruit when the family is out working in the field, they leave the warehouse door open with a sign that says "put your money in the drawer". I love the trust and community spirit in my area. The Robinsons also host a gathering each fall to celebrate the end of the harvest. Last year Rich even made homemade cider! He also provides apples for the Marcus Cider Fest, which is an annual event in a small town north of Kettle Falls.
The fruit is reasonably priced, and he stores and sells apples all year as long as they stay fresh. When the trees are pruned he offers fruit wood to area hunters that smoke wild meat. Rich also made a deal with our school to provide fruit. A staff member stops every Sunday and picks up fruit to hand out each day for lunch. The students love the locally grown pears and apples.
I will provide other posts on the Gem of Lake Roosevelt as the growing season continues. Right now I am just going to enjoy the blooming trees, but dream of juicy peaches and crisp apples.

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