Planting the seed…
Rich Eshleman graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in horticulture and then traveled to Michigan and Washington State to gain more experience. In 1977 Rich and Betty started growing fruit in Clyde at the former Goltz Fruit Farm, with forty acres of fruit. In 1989 we expanded with the addition of Starlite Orchards. Now we are growing six acres of sweet cherries, three acres plums, six acres of asparagus, fifty acres peaches, and one hundred fifty acres apples.
New plantings are high density, dwarf trees that grow better quality fruit. The main orchard has trickle irrigation and many of the new varieties. The farm has a 20,000 bushel cold storage and a 25,000 bushel controlled atmosphere storage. This means we have top quality apples into the spring of each year. We produce about 18,000 bushel of peaches and 40,000 bushel of apples each year.
We have always allowed our customers to “Pick-Their-Own” fruit. “Pick-Their-Own” has been very popular, and we keep our “Pick-Their-Own” areas for the customers; we do not pick over this area first.
In 2016 our son Jeff retired from the Air force and is helping with the farm along with his wife Laura and daughter Olivia.