The star of the show: Palisade Peaches
Trent & Carolyn Cunningham, Palisade, Colorado
and Carolyn's fabulous peaches are what started our family business.
Once Pat tasted them, she just had to share them with friends and
family. She bought a lug (or three) and before you know it, she was
hauling peaches for the roadside vendor she had bought them from in
Casper (Pam Doyle). Over the years what is now Pat's Peaches 'n Produce
A third-generation peach grower, Trent also has a degree in engineering. He brought his training of systems, etc. to bear on their family's orchards. He strives to grow the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful peaches (and cherries, apricots and plums) on the Western Slope using healthy (organic-type) methods. He takes a page from old-school growers and uses composting to nourish his trees, not chemicals. He only picks the best peaches and allows the remainder to fall from the tree, feeding each tree on its own sugars--just like nature does. To keep down crop loss from pests, only as necessary, he sprays a natural, non-toxic pesticide derived from grapes. No chemical pesticides here. (Word has it that he also talks to and prays over his trees!) Whatever he does, it works! He truly has the best peaches we've ever tasted, which is why we only bring Cunningham peaches. Carolyn tirelessly administers the business. Married for many years, with two grown children, they are truly a dynamic duo!P.S. This year Trent let a friend set up bee hives in his orchards. We are now selling his peach blossom honey. Thick and flavorful, his raw, unfiltered honey rivals his peaches in quality! Come by the stand and take some home some golden deliciousness in jar.
In time our customers, who were just as addicted to our peaches as we were, began asking if they grew anything else in Palisade/Grand Junction. Pat sought out a high-quality farmer whose produce was fresh and tasty. Enter Okagawa Farms...
Frank & Leta, Okagawa Farms, Grand Junction, Colorado
Frank bought Okagawa Farms over many years ago. He and his wife gradually have been transforming the greenhouses and farm store, tucked on a back street above the river, into an old western town theme. Frank says she's the brains he's the brawn.
From Frank's farm we get much of our produce, from zucchini to sweet corn. He is a great farmer and loads our trailers with case after case of delicious, fresh-picked produce. As well as farming, Frank also does some re-distribution--which is why every now and again we will bring an unexpected surprise like mangoes or other non-local produce.
When the customer demand for fresh produce out-grew Okagawa's ability to supply, Pat stopped by an intriguing roadside farm store she had been passing during her trips to pick up produce. She met the nicest woman with a beautiful smile and a twinkle in her eyes...
Thelma, Mount Garfield, Palisade, Colorado
Mount Garfield is the product of a hard-working, stylish farmer named Thelma. She has been farming and had a farm store for decades. Impressed by the large storefront and variety of produce, one day Pat stopped in to take a look and have a taste. This is also where Pat discovered bins of delicious melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.) and struck a deal with Thelma to have her melon grower deliver extra bins of fresh melons to her store for us to bring to up to Wyoming.
Thelma grows (and personally picks) both fruits and vegetables and sells other, southern Colorado farm goods at her store. Things like dried beans, popcorn, etc. She is an important supplier of our plums, tomatoes, squash, etc. and the mouthwatering melons you will find at our stands.
One day in Gillette, a bearded man stopped by our stand and inquired about our honey--it's kind and origin. He then proceeded to let us taste and explain all about his Gillettehoney, his bees, the bee business, and his collection methods. We were so impressed with his high-quality honey, we bought quite a few cases on the spot. Our customers now get a taste and brief explanation of this phenomenal local, Wyoming honey.
Gary Dawson, Beekeeper, Eat Honey, My Son, Gillette, Wyoming