Twin Springs Farm

Bob and Shelly Berryman

Producer Profile

Growers: Bob and Shelly Berryman

Located in: Kettle Falls, Wash.

Supplying PCC since: the early 1990s

peaches

PCC produce from Twin Springs: Six varieties of peaches (Flaming Fury, Early Redhaven, Redhaven, Blazing Star, Suncrest and Red Globe).

Less rain = sweeter peaches: Berryman's orchard is in a fairly dry part of the state — near Kettle Falls along the Columbia River — that gets only 16 inches of rainfall a year. Moderate snowmelt and summer showers help throughout the season.

You grow peaches, but your name is ... Berryman?: The Berrymans once grew U-pick strawberries on their land when the peach trees were still young. Despite jokes to the contrary over the years, their three children are not named Blue or Straw, but Shanti, Cy and Laurel.

picking peaches

A Washingtonian's passion for peaches

That plump, perfect peach you cradle in your hands in late summer was plucked just hours ago from an orchard on the banks of the mighty Columbia River, heady with sweetness from hours of basking in the Eastern Washington sun.

For nearly 30 years, Bob and Shelly Berryman have devoted their summers to growing organic peaches, a cavalcade of varieties from mid-July to early September with names that conjure starry nights and martial arts movies: Flaming Fury, Early Redhaven, Redhaven, Blazing Star, Suncrest and Red Globe.

It's a family operation: Bob runs the tractor and multi-tasks; Shelly manages the picking and packing crew and wanders the orchards just 30 miles south of the Canadian border in Kettle Falls, Wash. True to their name, the Berrymans once grew strawberries between their then newly planted peach trees back in 1981. Their three children, Shanti, Cy and Laurel, grew up on the farm.

Patience is what sets Twin Springs Farm apart from many other organic peach growers. They pick each piece of fruit at ideal tree-ripeness, going back to a tree four to five times over many days as each peach reaches its peak.

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Their operation is small enough that they still pack the fragile, luscious fruit by hand. The dry, hot summer days and cool nights promote a more concentrated flavor in each peach.

"We don't just go out and pick the whole tree," Bob says. "What we really have is not only a peach that's certified organic, but a peach that's grown, harvested and packed with special care, so you're getting the best you can get without actually visiting the farm."

Enjoy them fresh, slice and freeze them just as they are, or make jam and pies. Twin Spring Farm's peaches are all organic and local — with all the flavor of summer from a farmer we admire.

Sound Consumer, August 2010. Read even more about the Berrymans in this Sound Consumer profile from 2004

More about: local food, organic food , peaches