Meet Your Grower
Craig Campbell and his wife Sharon live a plethora of lives. Craig runs the orchards, a new cider business and a tree fruit distribution company, while his wife runs the marketing and design side of their cider business, Tieton Cider Works. They journey from Seattle to Yakima and all the way to San Francisco throughout each month. However, the Campbell family has not always been so strewn about.
Craig’s grandfather bought land in Tieton, WA during the late 1920s. This plot of land was farmed upon and handed down to Craig’s father who produced apples, pears and cherries. Craig grew up in Tieton and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in horticulture. After college, Craig did not immediately take over his father’s orchards. “My father really pushed me away and said that there were bigger things in the world that I needed to see,” Craig said.
Craig followed his father’s advice and in 1977, he started a produce distribution business in San Francisco called CDS Distributing Inc.Â This business employs 14 people and distributes northwest tree fruit to Northern California. Craig and His wife Sharon met on a blind date and lived in the bay area until moving to Seattle in 2004. Craig commuted weekly to San Francisco until 2010.
Now Craig and his wife split time between their home in Seattle and their home in Tieton. Craig goes to San Francisco one week per month. “I’m a guy on the move a lot,” Craig said. He likes to keep busy, which contributes to his progressive mindset.
Included in Craig’s 340 acres of tree fruit are: 200 acres of apples with the rest made up of pears, cherries and apricots. All of the pears and apricots and 80% of the apples are organically grown. Being a progressive thinker, many of Craig’s young apple trees are planted just 18 inches apart and stand ten feet tall. In contrast, Craig saved a few of the original trees on his land to show how far apart the trees used to be planted.
Craig also grows many types of English bitter sweet and bitter sharp apples that he uses to make hard cider. These are not typically “eating” apples, but are blended with certain dessert varieties to meet their cider profiles. The Campbell’s started their cider business four years ago, quite a bit quicker than they originally thought they’d get into it. “I like to try new things. Growing the best fruit we can is important but working on new projects like growing cider varieties keeps the spark going,” Craig said. Read more about Tieton Cider Works by visiting www.tietonciderworks.com or www.HarmonyOrchards.com.
View Archived Visit an Orchard articles:
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- Gene Bliesner
- Jack Toevs on Babcock Ridge
- Jeff Mills in Orondo, Washington
- Jim Fleming in Quincy, Washington
- Mark Stennes in Pateros, Washington
Learn about Washington Orchards:
While our growing regions appear quite dissimilar, they all share ideal growing conditions -- weather, soil and water.
Each season of the year plays a role in growing apples.
- From Orchard to You
From pruning to your home, learn about the process for preparing apples for you.
- Core Facts
Learn about crop facts, care and handling, pesticides and more.
- Washington Apple History
In the fertile valleys and plateaus of America's far west, growers tend orchards that produce the world's best apples.