Noland Orchards (Conventional Peaches and Pears)
Brian Noland was our first great experience with selling peaches. Before we chose him, we called several business establishments in Palisade. "Who is the most trustworthy grower you know?" we asked. We wanted to deal with a trustworthy businessman who knew how to grow a good peach. Brian Noland's name came up repeatedly.
We had to meet this man! One quick call and we were well on the road. Brian graciously welcomed us to his orchard where we were further impressed. The only rollers used in his packing shed were for damaged peaches that would go to feed livestock. All other peaches were carefully examined by hand. While we visited, workers carried in blue plastic bins full of peaches that hung from their necks and carefully set them down.
Without missing a beat, Brian introduced us to the picker, who we discovered lived on Noland orchards in a lovely, well-kept, comfortable double-wide trailer provided by the Nolands. The mutual respect between grower and picker was obvious. We were not surprised to discover that this family of pickers have stayed with the Nolands for two generations. If you know much about the peach industry, that in itself is a miracle.
If we weren't already sold, the clincher for us was Brian's primary business focus. While he supplies markets in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, his first love is fundraising for causes. If you have purchased peaches from a Rotary club, a band group, or any other fundraising endeavor, Noland Orchards may well be the grower. Even though we are “small potatoes” Brian has always treated us with respect and gone the second mile for us. For example, when we are running late, he has coordinated with our tomato and organic grower, picked up all the rest of our order and had it waiting for us—at no extra charge.
We have been so blessed to meet and know Brian Noland!
Kokopelli Orchards (Organic Peaches)
After speaking with over 20 growers, I can say without reserve, nobody is more passionate about peaches than Brant Harrison of Kokopelli Orchards. After a lengthy conversation comparing the merits of Rosa peaches to later ripening Cresthavens, I often feel as though I’ve just listened to a dad bragging on his children. His joy of peaches is infectious.
In fact, his joy in general is infectious. I have learned over the last several years that this happy open-spirited man has shared this joy with so many others. If I am meeting a new grower, all I have to say is, “Brant Harrison told me to give you a call.”
Without exception the response has always been, “Oh, you know Brant?!” Some days it feels as though the name Brant Harrison is like a magical security card that grants entrance into the world of peaches!
We have been blessed by Brant’s open spirit in many ways. Early in our journey, our first organic grower forgot us. Yes, he gave all of our peaches to a different vendor. We had no idea what to do. Someone in town sent us to Brant. “If anyone can help you out in a pinch, Brant can.” Indeed he did. He and his crew were bushed, but Brant sent us to his packing shed, loaded a bunch of unsorted boxes on our truck with the hopes that we could cobble together enough decent boxes for our customers. It turned out to be close to perfect! He had no concern about payment. “Just pay me when you come through town next.”
Last year when Palisade suffered devastating losses to their peach crops--when we weren’t sure if we would have any peaches to sell--it was Brant who sent us on bunny trail after bunny trail until we found growers who could supply us. Again, he had no concern about whether we would return to him or stick with a different grower. He simply saw need and wanted to help.
Brant’s generous heart is always an inspiration. His sweet, delicious peaches a treat for the palate. I don’t know how we could be more blessed!