Welcome to Forbidden Fruit Orchard
Tree Ripened Peaches, Nectarines,
Cherries, Apricots and
A Little About Us
Our small family orchard is located in a beautiful mountain valley, in Western Montana, near the town of Paradise.
We sell our fruit primarily at local Farmers Markets in Missoula - FIND US.
Since we grow our fruit only for local markets, we have the luxury of allowing the fruit to hang until it is luscious and ripe. We hand pick, field pack and personally transport all of our fruit to market, which enables us to handle these delicate fruits without as much risk of damage. Typically the fruit that you buy from us at market has been picked within one to two days before arriving at market.
Peaches are persnickety...
Most peaches that you purchase in the store have been picked long before they are fully ripe, in order to ensure that they are durable enough to be processed through an industrial packing line and then transported long distances.
Allowing peaches to ripen fully on the tree can be risky, but ultimately a very rewarding endeavor. Choosing the time to harvest a peach is a delicate balance. Pick the fruit too early and it will never develop to it’s full potential for flavor. Pick the fruit too late and it will taste wonderful, but will suffer damage before making it to market. We strive to allow our fruit to hang long enough that it is truly ripe and fully sugared, yet are still firm enough that they can still be gently handled and transported.
Forbidden Fruit Orchard is, quite literally, the fruition of our longtime dream to be orchardists.
In the fall of 2000 our dream became reality when we were finally able to gather up enough cash and courage to purchase 20 acres of bare ground near Paradise, Montana.
The following winter we spent most of our free time in research and planning mode. Deciding which trees to plant was no easy task, as there were no existing orchards in the area to copy from. Peaches, cherries and apricots eventually took center stage and in the spring of 2001 embarked on our planting the journey.
We set up a work camp (with our wall tent and dilapidated old tent trailer) along the bank of the Clark Fork River and began the epic task of our first tree planting. With the surprisingly generous help of friends and family we tilled up 10 acres of land, erected 2400 feet of deer fence, installed an irrigation well and drip irrigation system, and planted the first 720 baby trees in our orchard. All the while taking care of our two young boys, ages 1 and 3.
Each season since then has brought with it a new set of successes and failures and over the years we have strived to hone our craft. Most years we have planted new trees and have continued to add new varieties to our repertoire. Some trees thrive in our climate and others do not. Our boys have flourished and are now working on the orchard as well as playing on it. It all still is--and always will be--a work in progress, but we all agree it's been the adventure of a lifetime.