After 50 years of working in agriculture, Jim Fleming, Quincy, Wash., couldn’t bring himself to part with the farming lifestyle when he retired from Auvil Fruit Company in 1993.
“I love being outside during all four seasons and always having something to do,” Jim says. “So I started a small hobby farm to keep busy, but I guess it became a little more than a hobby.”
Today, Jim tends to 100 acres of apples, cherries and hay at Fleming’s Valley View Orchards. His 46 acres of apple orchards are home to three varieties: Fuji, Gala and Cameo—a variety that Jim’s late brother, Doyle, helped develop. The Cameo is one of Jim’s favorite apples to grow, as well as to eat.
“Cameo is just an all-around good apple; it’s crunchy, juicy and full of flavor,” he says. “It’s not always the prettiest apple, but it is always delicious.”
With retirement around the corner, Jim, 75, says he is fortunate to have a son, Scott, to carry on his legacy. “Soon it will be my turn to sit on the porch and tell everyone else what to do!”