By Bob Sullivan
Morgan County Business Leader
Raymond Gregory planted the first trees for Gregory Orchard in 1926, caring for 15 acres of land and harvesting a huge variety of apples to sell to the community and local wholesalers. A respected agriculture professor at Purdue University, Raymond knew the science of caring for the land. Bob Gregory, who took over the Orchard in 1950, recalled, “At that time, it was a turnkey operation, with Dad employing and supervising farmers to harvest the fruit each season.”
Bob and his new bride moved onto the property in 1950–the day after their wedding. Bob laughed, “Back then, it was just a given I would take over the business.” Bob also earned a degree from Purdue prior to taking over the orchard, his in horticulture. For most of the Orchard’s history, Bob said, customers bought apples by the bushel (over 35 liters, a bulk amount by today’s standards). “Now they buy them by the half-sack.”
According to Bob, the orchard’s “shop face” was the barn. “Back then, we’d work out on the farm every day, harvesting the crop, and we put a sign on the front of the barn door: ‘Blow Horn’, and that’s how they got our attention.”Download the full September 2009 Edition here.