Our Orchard

Smiths with Cherries

What are sour or tart cherries?  Call them pie cherries or baking cherries, call them good. These cherries are red right through with small pits to deal with. They have more sugar content than sweet cherries, but have a tart zing to them because they also have a higher Vitamin C content. We grow the 5 varieties developed by the U. of S. in Saskatoon in the Romance series: Crimson Passion, Valentine, Cupid, Romeo, and Juliet.  They are 8-10' bushes, bloom in May and are usually ripe by the end of July.  The birds love them, so we net these tall shrubs to keep them at bay.  The cherries are juicy off the branches and have a very different flavour than the eating cherries, but process or freeze them, and the cherry essence just pops!  

Like all farmers, weather determines what our crops are going to produce.  Our raspberries have taken quite a beating in the last 3 years.  The varieties though are like Manitoba.. surviving the worst winter can throw at us and their names reflect that: Boyne, Souris, Killarney.  We have a couple of easterners that have adapted too: K81-6 (we just call them Nova Scotia's), and our favourite raspberry variety was transplanted from Edith's great uncle's farm in P.E.I. in 1948 to her grandmother's garden and so to us as we started to concentrate on growing fruit.

We have 2 acres of cherries (not all are in production yet) and while our raspberries are recovering, we only have 1/2 acre in production.  We get started in the spring with a bit of asparagus for our local customers, add a few saskatoons, experiment with hazelnuts, and wind up the year with pumpkins.  It all keeps us busy.  

While we love to talk about our farm and what we're doing, we're a little more reserved about talking about ourselves.  Wayne grew up on a grain and cattle farm in Western Manitoba. Edith grew up in Carman from a farm family background.  While we worked at jobs in the city, we never lost our farm roots, and moved back home to Carman at the first opportunity.

Farmers will tell you that farming is more than their livelihood.  It is a new challenge every year. It is a passion for seeing things grow and for us, while trying something less traditional, the same satisfaction in producing the best crops we can.  We hope you enjoy them too!