Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2014 Regional Award Winner

T&K Ferri Orchards

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T&K Ferri Orchards

Joe, Christine Ferri and MPP Ann Hoggarth

When you grow apples for a living, your income comes from fruit, not wood. So when T&K Ferri purchased an orchard in 2007, they went high-density. Really high density. While the industry standard is 1,200 trees per acre, T&K Ferri planted roughly 3,000 per acre using a "super spindle" system - the first Ontario orchard to do so. This tightly packed approach creates uniform, hedge-like rows of trees that make mechanical pruning and harvesting possible, which in turn reduces labour costs. It also cuts down on pesticide use and takes just three to five years to achieve full production. As land costs keep rising, producing more fruit on fewer acres makes good financial sense. No surprise, then, that so many national and international groups come to tour and learn from this Grey County orchard.