Call us at: 1.877.299.1683 or 604.299.1683
Columbia Gorge Organic Fruit Co.
Behind the Columbia Gorge packing house, a thousand feet above the Columbia River, in the beautiful Hood River valley, you will find dirt - long, beautiful, and rich steaming windrows of composting dirt hundreds of feet long. Ronny and Jimmy Stewart, and their tireless mom, Sheryl, know that rich and healthy soil is a big part of their success, and the compost goes back to their 150 acre Stewart Farm every spring to fertilize the trees. That compost starts as what are literally the “plate scrapings” from their operation, plus ground-up broken shipping pallets and sawdust. They have been actively composting for 18 years, producing up to 2,000 tons of biologically active organic compost every year.
That compost doesn’t come, by the way, from misshapen or unsold apples, apricots, cherries or pears, because before the skin, seeds, stems, stones and pulp go into the compost their juice has been extracted. Years ago, Ronny and Himmy, in a dinner table conversation, realized that grocery stores had shelves and shelves juice, but none of it was organic. So they grabbed a blender and started making their own juice. Well, look what that started. From there, they started making apple juice for stores in Hood River and then blending in juice from cherries, pears and apricots.
They have now branched out from their juices to include ciders, smoothies, and bars. These products are in addition to the more than 60 varieties of fruit that they grow which include stone fruit, pears, and apples. You will find Columbia Forge fruit, juices, and products in just about every natural and organic store, and many major supermarkets right down the West Coast to L.A.
Sheryl says,” We do it all right here, because we have hard-working dedicated employers. Our juicing and canning operations keep us running every day that we aren’t packing fruit and that’s really important because it gives our workers a sustainable full time year-round job, and without them, we wouldn’t be in business.”
Columbia Gorge Organic Farm has been the recipient of a number of awards, including two times “Farmer of the Year” from Oregon Tilth and “Handler of the Year” and “Farmer of the Year,” from the Oregon Organic Council.