The farm was originally a diversified farm as was typical for the era. The family raised cattle, sheep, horses and pigs. All of the fodder for the livestock was grown on the farm as were vegetables and apples for the family. Most of what was produced on the farm was used by the family. A small amount of meat, apples and dairy products were sold.
Tim's great-grandfather, Austin L. Peck, added on a dairy operation and a large flock of chickens. The family sold both cream and eggs in the area. His grandfather, Lyndon Peck,didn't care much for dairying and he converted the farm to the orchards that we know today. The last dairy cows were sold in 1946 and the name of the farm was changed to Apex Orchards. The name was inspired because the orchard sits at the apex of a hill with a beautiful view where we grow spectacular fruit.
Tim's parents continued expansion of the farm. Apex Orchards was originally a wholesale apple orchard selling apples across America and Europe. In the late 1990’s we moved into retail and have been supported by the help of our wonderful customers. In 2011 we purchased an additional 175 acres of land just up the road from our farm. This was part of the original Peck family farm from 1828 and we are glad to have it back in the family. It will give us and future generations the land to diversify and expand the farm.
Today Apex Orchards grows a wide array of tree fruits, including apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, quince, pears, Asian pears, blueberries, table grapes and kiwi. We plan on adding additional fruit in the future. We pride ourselves in the diversity of fruit that we sell. We think you’ll be impressed too! Our fruit is sold in stores throughout the local area, at farmers markets (including the Amherst Farmers' Market) and of course, right here at our farm store.
Western Massachusetts is without a doubt one of the top fruit growing regions in the world. The soil, the micro-climate, and the varieties all combine to give our customers the best tasting fruit possible. Among the Amherst Market regulars, Apex Orchards may be best known for one thing: apricots. When the apricots come in, people will be lining up at Apex’s stand, eager for this year’s crop of the soft, delicate fruit. Tim Smith, the owner of Apex Orchards, agrees that the apricots are special. “A lot of people have never tasted a fresh apricot,” he observes, noting that Apex is one of the only farms in the Pioneer Valley that grows the fruit. The farm also sells honey under the label “Shelburne Honey Company,” and even grows a small variety of kiwis
Of course apricots are not Apex’s only crop, and despite the palpable excitement at the farmers’ market when the apricots are introduced, customers also regularly enjoy Apex’s other offerings. Apex grows many varieties of peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, and apples, along with grapes and blueberries.
Apex uses integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. We believe in using sustainable business practices in our operation of the farm. We have solar panels on the farm too. Our farm has been supplying the finest farm fresh produce since 1828, and that tradition continues today. We have pick your own areas available in the fall in an orchard with one of the most spectacular views in New England.
Our retail store is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm from August through April. From mid-September until the end of October we offer pick your own apples in our scenic orchard. A farm visit is a terrific family event and we also often hold in store events. You’ll find our family and staff to be welcoming and helpful, including offering up tips and recipes for preparing fruit and storage.
Come see us Saturday at the Amherst Farmers' Market and say "hello!"