The blazing sun and rising temperatures are starting to make it feel like summer. Barbeques, lake days, and concerts fill up most of our calendars, but a select few are trading these hangouts for their harvests.
As July quickly approaches, Cherry Hill Farms prepares for picking season and festivals. Selling a variety of orchard fruits and garden-grown vegetables, summertime invites visitors to the property to experience farm life.
The first estate to grow tart cherries in the state of Utah, Cherry Hill Farms was founded by Moses Aaron Rowley in 1927. Continuing their family’s farming legacy, the Rowley descendants expanded the organization to include three Utah properties. In 2012, Maurina Rowley and her family brought Cherry Hill Farms to Caldwell, Idaho.
Moving into an established agricultural community like Caldwell, the Rowley’s were unsure of how they were going to fit in. As new kids on the block, they didn’t want to uproot any current farms, but Rowley said the Caldwell community was incredibly welcoming.
“It was really neat because people told us that we were all trying to accomplish the same thing together,” Rowley said. “The community has been awesome, and people have been really supportive.”
The farm began growing fruit and selling it commercially to Walmart and Costco, but Rowley noticed the community’s desire to buy local produce from the source. After a few years, Cherry Hill Farms was able to expand their operations to welcome visitors to their property and to sell produce off of the tree.
“2020 was the first year we invited the public onto the farm. We did some U-picks and some harvest tours and it was really fun,” Rowley said. ““People want to connect with their food and know where it comes from. It was really cool to see people experience things most aren’t able to, like picking a peach off of a tree.”
Joining the Destination Caldwell family as a member of the AgVenture Trail the same year, Rowley said this partnership was instrumental to the farm’s success.
“It’s been great to have another avenue to get that word out that we’re here,” Rowley said. “One of the great things about Destination Caldwell is being able to work together and promote agriculture, instead of having to do it ourselves.”
As their produce selection grew from peaches and cherries to include flowers, a vegetable garden, and corn, the Rowley family wanted to continue creating opportunities for individuals to learn about the farming and harvesting processes.
“We opened a portable stand and were able to sell fresh produce. We learned a lot from it and decided that it was worth continuing,” Rowley explained. “We’re actually in the process of building a permanent farm store right now, so we don’t have to transport our produce anymore.”
Along with the farm store, Cherry Hill Farms will debut a seven acre corn maze at their fall festival in September. With fresh produce, a pumpkin patch, and corn maze routes perfect for all ages, the Rowley’s farm is guaranteed to blossom over the next few months.
So whether you’re looking to learn about tart cherries, pick your own peaches, or tour blooming orchards, make sure to mark Cherry Hill Farms as your next destination and know the tale behind the trail.
Written by Megan Williams
All photos courtesy of Cherry Hill Farm’s Facebook page.