Nourishing the Body and Soul

Photo Karen Graham.
Pictured is Amanda Rice, Founder of Spring Bloom Orchard with her wares at last Sunday’s market.

Spring Bloom Orchard is a new family farm operation launched in the fall of 2019 by Amanda Rice and her father on Carmel Line in the fall of 2019.

As the name suggests, the operation produces annual and perennial flowers to produce cut flower bouquets throughout the season, as well as a variety of herbs, fruits and vegetables to make meals flavourful as well as beautiful.

Amanda’s horticultural background is varied.  Her training began with formal education in Forestry and Environmental Technology at Fleming College, after which she gained experience working at Peterborough’s Ecology Park and at a local organic farm.

The fledgling farmer has plans to grow a wide variety of products.  Some, such as herbs, flowers and soft fruits have short lead times and are already available at their market stalls, but others take time to become established.  They are in no rush.

So far there are three of the fourteen acres allocated to their production already planted in garlic, herbs, flowers and small fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.  This fall Amanda plans to expand the small fruit production to include more unusual varieties such as Haskaps and Saskatoon berries.  Watermelon plants are also now in the ground. A few fruit trees including apricot and pear in the orchard will soon be joined by an expanded variety of pear trees and a few apple trees, some of which Amanda will be grafting herself this fall.

All production is organic, incorporating practices designed to build the soil and support the natural ecosystems surrounding the orchard.  No synthetic chemicals or pesticides are used, and they are integrating perennial plants into their field to slowly shift the plant community to one that is naturally sustainable.  They plan to seek organic certification next year.

Spring Bloom Orchard operates a booth at the weekly Peterborough Regional Market on Saturdays and has joined the monthly Millbrook Market.  Visitors to their stall are greeted with an abundance of beautiful sights and smells, and purchases will certainly be appreciated on the dinner table.  Welcome to the Millbrook Market, Spring Bloom Orchard!  KG

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