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Specialty Crop Tour for Young Growers - Winchester, Virginia

June 2014
Virginia Tech Fruit Research and Extension Center

Virginia Tech Fruit Research and Extension Center

YGA Member Phil Glaize Hosts Tour for Young Growers

by Ben Lerew, Young Grower Alliance

On June 12th, Young Grower Alliance (YGA) members traveled to Winchester, Virginia to spend the afternoon visiting Glaize Orchards, National Fruit Product Company, Winchester Cider Works, Virginia Tech’s research and extension farm, and Linda's Mercantile and Farm Market. At each stop the next generation of growers learned a little bit about the history, the current generation, and about what makes each individual place so special—thanks to the planning efforts of YGA member, Phil Glaize III!

Glaize Orchards took YGA through their packing house and explained to us the importance of not only having good equipment, but also about having good people. From growing to packaging, nothing is possible without the people who run, manage, and care about the quality of the product they produce.

National Fruit Product Company, known for their White House brand, produces a large number of processed goods. The important message that they wanted YGA to remember was that continual growth is the key to survival in a growing market.

At Winchester Cider Works young growers were able to learn a little about the method of taking Cider to the next beverage level. This growing market was of much interest to the group and they were able to get some great tips from the brew master himself while they were there.

YGA made a special stop at Virginia Tech’s FREC location. While there, they learned about growing grapes, sweet cherries under tunnels, and about many of the exciting things that the grad students were working on. It was definitely an interesting and educational stop well worth making.

Finally YGA made their way to Linda’s where they enjoyed dinner and some good ole blue grass music. It was a relaxing stop, and the owner gave a casual tour of his gardens and market before the group spent time in fellowship with one another.

For those of you who missed the tour, stay tuned for upcoming trips to gain the little tips that make our jobs as farmers a lot easier.