Over the Hill Orchards
We have always been fruit lovers; Dean’s earliest memories are of picking Saskatoon berries. Sylvia remembers wading through the river to get to the wild blueberry patch up north. But honestly, isn’t that about all the tree fruit we think we can grow here in Saskatchewan? It was quite a revelation when, while touring a local nursery for some flowers, we came upon apricots, plums, apples and pears! We asked the salesperson the question we now hear most from our customers “We can grow these here?”
Although we couldn’t grow peaches like they do in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia, we could grow other delectable fruit, suited for our climate. Growers in B.C. can’t grow Valencia oranges like they do in California, but that didn’t stop them from creating the most popular tourist and fruit production area in the country. We believed that we can apply the same principles of fruit growing and tourism, here in Saskatchewan.
Dean took horticulture classes via correspondence and learned the art of fruit breeding in hopes to create hardier varieties of fruit that can be grown in our climate. We traveled to many fruit growing regions in North America, to learn from the knowledge that growers have accumulated over the years. Many connections were also made through the internet to growers and fruit breeders around the world. We soon found out that the challenge was to incorporate and adapt their experience and knowledge to the specific challenges in our climate, but in many cases we were breaking new ground!
It seems like a lifetime since we planted our first cherry tree. Throughout that exciting and challenging time, we were always innovating with new fruits being grown, new products being developed, and tours of the orchards being created.
It is very gratifying to be able to offer our customers products created with so much passion and common sense principles behind them. We are proud to offer Certified Organic products that are low in sugar, gluten and nut free.