Scott Leach Orchards
Grower: Scott and Lupe Leach and family
Located in: Zillah, Wash.
Supplying PCC since: the 1990s
Provides PCC with: Crisp local and organic apples and pears.
Four generations: Scott Leach is a fourth generation farmer. His Zillah, Wash. orchard is just 30 miles from where his great-grandparents once owned an orchard.
Coming back strong: Scott and Lupe Leach's orchards took a powerful hit from a hailstorm in 2001 that destroyed a quarter of their crop. They appreciated all the letters of support and thanks from PCC shoppers and PCC Farmland Trust donors that arrived during their time of need.
Orchards of local flavor
As sunny summer days give way to fall’s cool, crisp nights, Scott Leach Orchards will be ready to fill our fruit bowls with the treasures of fall: perfectly crunchy organic apples and smooth, creamy local pears.
It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1990s, when PCC first began carrying the exceptional organic tree fruit grown by Scott and Lupe Leach and their three children on 60 bountiful acres in the sunny Yakima Valley town of Zillah.
Scott has fond memories of growing up in his father’s orchard, just a stone’s throw away – running the tractor, picking fruit. He’s run his own orchards since 1977 and in 1981 planted his first fruit trees. He’s been certified organic since 1990, and now can’t imagine farming any other way, especially since it means reduced exposure to toxic pesticides for his family and workers.
“I would quit farming before I would go back to conventional farming,” Leach says. “It’s just the right thing to do. You feel just a little more connected to the trees and to the soil and to the earth.”
Farming on a smaller scale means a close relationship with each and every tree in his keeping.
“I’ve watered it. I’ve pruned it. I’ve sprayed it. I’ve put my heart and soul into growing it. It wasn’t just on a spreadsheet.”
He hopes the relationship endures so that future generations of PCC shoppers someday buy fruit from future generations working his orchard – including his 16-year-old son Jeff.
Look for his Red and Golden Delicious apples and Taylor’s Gold and Concord pears at your neighborhood PCC. They’re just right for a handheld snack, baked up hot in a fruit crisp, pie or cake, or, as a sweet accompaniment to roast meats.
Sound Consumer, September, 2010. Read more about the Leach family in this 2005 Sound Consumer piece.