Meet the Farmers – Wes Burdick
Farming isn’t Wes’ only passion. If you live in or around Summerland, chances are you know that he is a real estate agent. When we met Wes at his Ambrosia apple orchard in September 2019, he couldn’t be happier about getting back to his farming roots. With ready-to-pick Ambrosia apples hanging from his newly planted trees, Wes shared his story: Click Here
After growing and caring for them for three years, the 11,000 trees that Wes planted in 2017 have yielded their first harvest, so we can finally literally enjoy the fruits of Wes’ labour. The decision to plant this variety was easy, according to Wes. “The Ambrosia apple is a beautiful apple and tastes even better and I am proud to grow it,” he says. “Walking through the orchard near harvest time and seeing all the Ambrosia apples hanging on the trees is an amazing sight. Knowing all the work that has gone into getting the apple this far; there is a real sense of accomplishment. The Ambrosia tree is an easier tree to manage than some other varieties, which is an added bonus.”
The orchard has been a great place to raise a family, as well. “I love the space it offers the kids to run and play… explore,” Wes tells us. “But also, the things it teaches them like how to grow their own food, work ethic or even how to operate equipment. There have been some great conversations in the orchard as we work alongside each other pruning or thinning.”
Wes does most of the work on the orchard himself, and the kids definitely help out, he hires out most of the pruning, thinning and picking as needed. “Orcharding consists of a lot of manual labour,” he explains. “It can be difficult to find the manpower to do certain jobs like pruning, thinning, and picking. It’s just too big of a job to handle yourself, so we have to rely on additional help.”
“There are a lot of beautiful apples that end up on the ground or in the garbage because they don’t have enough red color or have a mark on them that the consumer doesn’t want,” Wes ponders. “I think with a little education some of these apples could be harvested and sold, reducing waste but also helping the farmers bottom line making this way of life more viable.”
Wes’s final word: “Thank you for supporting this apple and your local farmers!” Thank you, Wes, and all the Ambrosia farmers for their hard work and dedication!