Good Fruit Grower

January 2014

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LAST BITE Young Growers will be featured here throughout 2014. Gabe Dahle grower / The Dalles, Oregon Learn more at: age / 33 business / Dahle Orchards and The Farmer in The Dalles, both operating out of The Dalles, Oregon. The farm is owned by Timothy Dahle, Gabe's father. Q: What attracted you to farming? " I was raised on a farm. At first I didn't want to come back, but I realized I knew a lot and was kind of good at it. Q: Looking ahead, what do you think will be your biggest challenges as a grower? " crops / Pears and cherries, with 15-20 varieties of cherries grown on three locations at elevations of 500 feet, 1,800 feet and 2,400 feet. title / Operations Manager other experience / Served as a Marine for six years, including a combat tour in Iraq. Labor and regulations are the among the biggest problems we have. We try to get as many certifications as possible, and we design our orchards to be labor friendly. photo & video by T.J. Mullinax For the last eight to ten years, we've only grown pedestrian orchards, which are less labor intensive for pruning and picking. We don't let a tree get over ten feet tall. We want pickers to think of our orchard as the most desirable because that's where they can make the most money. The orchard is designed so people can go through like wildfire and make a ton of money. Q: How does your experience as a Marine help you run a farm? " I like to manage things with the same type of a chain of command. It's good to have very clear roles at different levels so everyone knows exactly what to do and you know who to talk to when there's a problem. Q: What's good about farming? scan to watch the interview " Unlike a lot of jobs, you can look back and see what you did. You can look around and find everything that you built. You can get emotionally invested in the orchard, especially if it's a family business. You can take a lot of pride in it. It's the type of business where the hardest workers succeed. PLAY 46 JANUARY 1, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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