The Madden Family Orchard has been in Paul’s family for 104 years. To put that in perspective, that is 4 generations of family. The 40-acre farm is on the banks of the Columbia River in North Central Washington, just outside the town of Brewster. Currently the farm grows nine varieties of apples and seven varieties of cherries.
The Farm has been organic since Paul took over in 1990. Before that Paul’s father Blaine practiced both IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and Low Impact Pesticide Use (minimal, low concentration spray).
Around the turn of the century the Everett Orchard Company offered Paul’s great grandfather H.L. Martin his own orchard if he would travel across the treacherous North Cascade Mountains and plant ten different orchards in the Methow Valley. The orchards were a success and the Martins raised their family in Winthrop, Washington. Their son-in-law George Madden helped in the orchards but soon expanded his enterprise to include a blacksmith shop. George’s son Blaine (Paul’s dad) became a farmer and also had his own orchard in Winthrop. Paul’s great grandfather Newt Williams ran the stagecoach and mail route up and down the Methow valley. Newt’s daughter Gertrude, married Lee Cooper and they planted orchards near Brewster where Paul continues the family tradition.
Many people often ask Paul why he was interested in developing an organic orchard. His simple response, “To keep myself and my family safe from dangerous concentrations of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. After a few years I came to love and passionately embrace this style of farming.”