Ceres Cascade Farms
Owned and farmed by Pietie and Shannon Wolfaardt since 1984, Ceres Cascade Farms consists of two units – Montana and Cascade – that have been in the family for decades. Lately the couple was joined by their children Frances and Sebastian to further strengthen the family management team. After it was purchased by the Wolfaardt family in 1971, Montana made the transition from being a stock farm to a fruit farm that focused on Stone- and Pome Fruit varieties for drying.
On the other hand, the history of Cascade farm is fascinating as it was run as a guest farm up until 1953. The beautiful stone manor house was built in 1921 by Captain James Taylor, a retired WW1 veteran. On purchase in 1984, it consisted of Pear orchards, a dairy and some sheep. Since 1992 both farms have been replanted with innovative Stone Fruit varieties for the export market.
The diversity in micro climate of the two units – Cascade and Montana Farms – enable the Wolfaardt family to produce quality Stone Fruit from early too late. The combined 1317 hectares of the two units, includes a breath taking mountain wilderness area. Portions of the Montana farm has been set aside to form part of a nature reserve, as it is one of the few known habitats of the endangered geometric tortoise.
With a passion for innovation and new varieties, Pietie and Shannon travel extensively in the off-season to visit research stations, orchards and packhouses in Europe. Over the years they have planted countless trial varieties for evaluation in order to discover the perfect matches for their units and the demand of the market.
Shannon and Pietie strongly belief that the strength of their business lies in the well-being of their staff. They invest in training, farm community development and support of the organizations where their staff are involved. During the packing season (November to August), a day-care facility is provided for the children of permanent and temporary staff.
Ceres Cascade Farms strives to continue producing fruit of the highest quality and identifying exciting varieties to plant and produce an exceptional fruit basket. At the same time they place equal emphasis on creating a stimulating, caring and empowering workplace for their staff. They are committed to annual new orchard development, a new and modern packhouse facility, as well as a farm village for their staff; all planned for the near future.