Aloha means more than just hello
WHAT: Aloha Organic Orchards Agri-tour
WHEN: April through October by appointment; large groups welcome
WHERE: 3525 G Road, in Palisade
Working as a contractor in Hawaii, Steve Sherer never expected to own an orchard. But after a fortuitous meeting with visitors to the island from Palisade more than a decade ago, he found himself drawn to the small farming community in Colorado; first purchasing a working orchard in 2000, then making it his family’s full-time home in 2008.
Aloha Organic Orchards — 3525 G Road, in Palisade — currently grows 12 varieties of peaches, two types of nectarines, three types of cherries, and four types of lavender. It runs as both an organic farm and store.
Aloha’s on-site store typically opens in June, offering lavender bunches, peaches, organic jams, and other favorite local and Hawaiian treats. The farm also wholesales to other organic growers in Denver, plus it’s produce can be purchased in Vitamin Cottage exclusively (as well as at farmers’ markets throughout the valley).
According to Sherer, the process to make a farm organic begins from the ground up.
“You have to create a line all the way back to the dirt and document everything you put into it,” he said. “Along with how it’s handled, it must be done a certain way. OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) follows strict rules on how we grow and handle our food.”
There’s a reason organic fruit costs more, Sherer added. He says it’s easier to grow in bulk instead of growing organically. At times, growers use chemicals to cut down on labor costs, like pesticides and herbicides.
“We do all the weeding by hand here,” he explained.
And to maximize the growing season, Aloha Organic Orchards hosts a rotating variety of crops.
“Come eat a peach,” Sherer said.
For more information about Aloha Organic Orchards, visit http://www.alohaorganicfruit.com.
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