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Kingsbury's Orchard

 

 “A Proud Tradition of Family Farming”, this is what best describes Gene Kingsbury’s farm at Kingsbury’s Orchard.  Their story begins in 1907 whereby Edwin and Minerva Horine stumbled across a parcel of land that looked like the perfect place to live and raise a family. For 25 years the Horine family farmed land in a very traditional way by raising animals and producing crops.  Then in 1932, Phil Horine,  Edwin and Minerva’s oldest son, had the idea of bringing peaches to the farm as a way to help the farm weather the tough economic times brought about by the great depression. Peaches were not commonly grown in the area and he played a pivotal role of introducing them to the community.  As he gained experience his peaches flourished and were known by the distinctively sweet flavor they possess.  Phil dedicated his life to the family farm and as years passed he wanted to find a way that the family farm could continue to the next generation.  He found the solution to his problem when Roland Kingsbury married his granddaughter Peggy Horine. They both took charge of the farming operation in 1958, managing a Holstein dairy herd and peach orchard together for more than 50 years.  Roland brought his passion for agriculture to the family farming operation and he played a major role in shaping the future of Kingsbury’s Orchard.

Today, Peggy’s son Gene Kingsbury and daughter Sue Ketron continue to watch over the farm’s legacy. Over the years they increased the diversity of fruit production for the orchard to include apples, pears, nectarines, apricots, and plums.  While they are very passionate about the high quality fruits produced by the orchard, they are especially proud of the white peaches and nectarines that have become a local favorite and specialty of the orchard.  More recently they added the production of a yellow firestone peach called “Kingsbury’s Pride”.  The Kingsbury Pride is a mutation growing on another peach variety in the late 1990s and went on to develop it as an exclusive variety for sale at the orchard.  While only starting this new variety with just 2 trees, Kingsbury Pride production has now expanded to more than 200 trees.

The operation consists of about 132 acres of land that he has been farming for 50 years now.  Gene is the guiding force behind the Kingsbury’s Orchard and he takes great pride in the high quality fruit that the orchard produces.  Gene loves to farm and what makes farming fun for him is that he enjoys working with new varieties of fruit, exploring what works and learning from those that do not turn out.  Gene believes that farming teaches a lot about life and one thing he has learned from farming is that you need to be prepared for what Mother Nature brings every year. “It’s unpredictable and the weather can throw you a lot of curves” say’s Gene Kingsbury.  While the weather does play a major part in what fruit production will yield year after year, it never dampens his spirit to keep working his craft to produce the best in fresh locally grown fruit from the farm to you. 

Gene’s inspiration to farm came from his great grandfather who inspired him to be a farmer and grow fruit.  Farming is a way of life for Gene and farming is important to him because he believes he is making a difference by providing fresh and healthy produce to the local community.  While the operation produces a many types of fresh locally grown fruit products, what really makes Kingsbury’s Orchard special is the wide variety of peaches they grow!   “We provide the widest variety of tree-ripened fruit in the area” Gene proudly explains.  

They produce more than 50 different varieties of peaches and this diversity enables the orchard to provide fresh locally grown peaches to their customers throughout the growing season. While harvest dates and weather condition vary, it is important to call the orchard to confirm product availability.  His earliest variety is ready to be harvested around the last week of June while other varieties are ready to be harvested as late as the middle of September.  Kingsbury’s Orchard is a very beautiful farm and is one of those farms you must visit on Farm Tour weekend or to schedule regular visits throughout the growing season.  Kingsbury’s Orchard is open mid-June through November, 7 days a week, from 9 am to 6 pm.

 For more information, please visit Kingsbury’s Orchard website at www.kingsburysorchard.com.

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The Office of Agriculture · 18410 Muncaster Road · Derwood, Md 20855
Phone: 301-590-2823 · Fax: 301-590-2839

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