Red Point orchard

Mike and Megan Cheverie, owners of Red Point Orchard look forward to having their first U-pick this year. They planted the 5 acre plot in 2018 and had a small harvest last year.  Charlotte MacAulay photo

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Perched on a south facing slope, Red Point Orchard is home to 6,400 apple trees.

Mike and Megan Cheverie are into their second season of harvest at the Sutherland Lane operation and hosting their first u-pick. 

The young couple, who are also the owners of Remedy RX in Souris, said they knew one day they would have some sort of  small agricultural operation to share with their kids, but the idea of it being an orchard right outside their front door only came about when the land became available.

“We always knew we wanted something like this to do with the kids,” Ms Cheverie said.

Right now Edwin 6, Joanie, 5 and Stella, 3, are a bit young to work full-time at the harvest, but the family does enjoy daily walks to check on the progress on their five acres.

Mr Cheverie said he wants to instill in his children the same sense of work ethic he learned helping out on his family’s small potato patch when he was growing up.

That will come with time once the orchard work grows a little less time consuming. The Cheveries had the property managed during the planting, but are more involved hands-on now with the day-to-day and say they are learning all the time.

The majority of the trees are the popular Honeycrisp variety, but they also grow Gala, Ambrosia, Gravenstein, Cortland and McIntosh varieties.

The orchard sits on former potato land and the sandy soil coupled with sun from the south is ideal, according to Mr Cheverie.

“It has good drainage and is typical of prime orchard land on PEI,” he said.

Geographically, the orchard is the most northeasterly one on PEI.

“We are in our own little climate here,” Mr Cheverie said, noting the distinction is they will likely have a bit of a later growing season.

In fact last year there were a few apples still left to pick in November.

The Cheveries are also enjoying learning from their customers all about which varieties of apples are preferred for eating and baking.

In the Cheverie household, Gala is the most popular, not only for its delicious flavour, but also because it is the perfect size for a lunchbox.

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