Every week this summer we got to open a box of beautiful, luscious, out-of-this-world fruit like this from Collins Family Orchard. It was the finest flavored and perfectly textured fruit we have ever had in our lives. We discovered varieties of apples, peaches, cherries, pears and plums that we’d never before tasted and found more than a few new favorites! My 3 year old son ate almost our entire box on his own each week!
A mission of mine with Seattle Farm School is to connect local farmers like Collins with our neighborhoods in the city – so you get to know the people, the history, the dedication and conscious decisions that our farmers make every day to produce the best tasting and healthiest food for all of us. To share their stories with urban residents who might otherwise not know the amount of effort it takes to do what they do, to show up with tables full of gorgeous fruit every week at farmers markets and deliver them via CSA box throughout the growing season.
It’s only fitting that our first Meet Your Farmer profile is dedicated to the farmers who fed my family all summer long – the Collins Family! Seattle Farm School will have a CSA pickup location in place this spring for all our local farms to deliver to West Seattle. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!
Collins Family Orchard is a fourth generation family farm located in Selah, WA, a few miles north of Yakima. We’ve been growing and perfecting our fruit for over 100 years producing different varieties of apples, cherries, peaches, plums, pears, and apricots, to name a few. We love to experiment with new varieties and hybrids and our focus is on finding the best varieties of fruit that grow well in our climate and taste delicious. We pride ourselves in using sustainable practices to ensure our fruit is healthy for both our customers and our environment.
We prune our trees and thin the fruit set extensively; our goal is quality, not quantity. We are continuously in search of more perfect fruit, and we test many new varieties each year by grafting and planting new fruits in an experimental block in the orchard. To earn their keep, new fruit must grow well our climate and taste great. We’re eager to bring our fruit to market, but we don’t rush to pick it. Fruit should not come off the tree until it is good and ready, at the peak of flavor. We use organic fertilizers, seaweed and fish oil. For pest control, we use organic Intrust, which works by mating disruption.
We sell our fruit at over 20 farmer’s markets in the Seattle area, to many gourmet restaurants, and of course to our wonderful CSA (community supported agriculture) members! Please stop by say hi at any of our farmers markets including the West Seattle, Broadway, and Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday from 10am-3pm or check us out online at www.collinsfamilyorchards.com. Our CSA home delivery season starts mid-June and runs through mid-October. We look forward to providing you with the freshest and tastiest fruit all summer long!
Summer and Fall CSA Program
Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs is a great way for you to save money while directly supporting local farmers! As an orchard, we provide a fruit only CSA with a large variety of different types of fruit that grow locally here in Washington including apples, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, apriums, pluots, and pears. Our Summer CSA starts in mid-June and runs until mid to late October, usually for 19 weeks. The fruit in your CSA box will change each week based on what is the most fresh and in season. We also offer a shorter extension of our CSA called the Fall CSA which runs from early November through mid-December. The Fall CSA includes different varieties of apples and pears. Both our Fall CSA and Summer CSA can be home delivered or you can choose to pick up at a neighborhood pick-up site or farmers market and have your delivery fee waived. Our CSA comes in three sizes: Small (6 lbs, feeds 1-2 people,) medium (10 lbs, feeds 2-3 people,) and large (15 lbs, feeds 3-5 people.) During our Summer CSA you can choose either a weekly or biweekly pick-up option while in the Summer we offer weekly pick-ups only. All the fruit in our CSA is grown sustainably at our farm in Selah, WA.
To find out more about our CSA check out our website or sign up for our email newsletter to hear when sign-ups begin for our Summer 2016 season!