1890’s – Delaware was the #1 peach growing state during this era. Peaches were shipped via boat from Delaware City, DE to New Jersey and New York, NY.
Did you know? The Delaware state flower is the peach blossom
Early 1900’s – ‘Peach yellows’ devastates the peach growers in Delaware. This disease spread quickly closing down most of the peach production in the state. Many farmers never recovered from this disease and went out of business.
1930’s – Canneries began sprouting up along the railroads of Delaware. Peas, lima beans, tomatoes and corn were all grown in large acreage near to the cannery facilities. This created a spike in demand and sales for Delaware farmers during this era.
1950’s – The interstate highway system and the advent of refrigerated trucking enable fruits and vegetables to be shipped longer distances fresh. Fruits and vegetables from Florida and southern states could now be economically delivered to the large cities of the Northeast. The cannery business quickly begins to dwindle and many Delaware fruit and vegetable growers begin transitioning to other grain crops and poultry production.
Today, Fifer Orchards continues the legacy of Charles Frederick Fifer and his vision. 4th generation Fifer’s continue to grow a very diverse mix of high quality fresh fruits and vegetables including: asparagus, strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, heirloom varieties, apples, pumpkins and more.
Fifer fruits and vegetables find their way to a diverse customer base including:
- Grocery stores – Wegmans, Giant, Whole Foods, Walmart, Harris Teeter, Safeway and others
- Local food stores – Lloyds IGA, Zone 7, Hockers Market, Common Market, Janssen’s Market, and more
- Local wholesale to regional roadside farm stands, distributors, and CSA’s such as Greensgrow and Norman’s Market.
- Weekly Farmers’ Markets – Rehoboth Beach and Lewes
- Fifer retail locations – Country Store (Camden-Wyoming) and Farm Market Cafe (Dewey Beach, DE)
- Fifer CSA Program – Community Supported Agriculture
- Local Delmarva restaurants
- Delaware Schools
To grow and sell high quality produce, while preserving the environment, serving the community and maintaining family values.