Stemilt is the largest organic tree fruit supplier in the United States. Stemilt's founding family, the Mathison's, have farmed their Stemilt Hill homestead since settling there in 1893. Tom Mathison founded Stemilt in 1964 on the premise that consumers should have access to fruit with rich flavor. In 1914, the Mathison’s planted their first apple, cherry and pear orchards atop the Hill, where high-elevation microclimates offered superior growing conditions for tree fruits. A true pioneer, Tom sought better growing practices, built modern packing and storage facilities, and was an early adopter in both organics and sustainable agriculture. In 1989, founder Tom Mathison began transitioning a large number of acres from conventional to organic. Today, Tom’s children and grandchildren carry on the traditions that he began - operating efficiently and effectively in order to deliver the best eating experience to consumers with the least impact on the environment. Tom’s grandson, West Mathison, serves as Stemilt president and interim Chairman of the Board. Stemilt owns several packing houses, and not only grows, but packs and markets for other eastern Washington growers.
One sunny spring day, a honey bee was buzzing throughout Mr. Nystrom’s orchard, collecting nectar and cross-pollinating apple blossoms along the way. The honey bee stopped at an unknown tree and collected nectar and pollen from a blossom. As the day went on, the little honey bee passed that pollen onto a Honeycrisp tree. Little did this bee know its cross-pollination between a Honeycrisp and an unknown variety had just resulted in the beloved SugarBee® apple we know and enjoy today! <br><br> Months later, when apples of every shape and color began to grow, Mr. Nystrom discovered this all new variety of apple in his orchard! It was large and round, with bright red and yellow coloring. He took a bite…. “Yum!” The apple had a crispy firm texture and was unbelievably sugar-sweet. He was thrilled and spread word far and wide of a new delicious apple variety, which he then called B-51, commenting again and again on its sweet and crunchy nature.
The flesh of the Anjou pear is bright, white and dense with a slightly sweet flavour with subtle notes of citrus.These pears remain green when ripe, with only a slight change in their bright green-coloured skin. Press gently against the stem end of the fruit to test for ripeness. Anjou pears ripen from the inside out - if the flesh gives slightly, the pear is ready to eat.