As best friends since childhood, Bert Veens and Pete Geerts always knew they wanted to work outdoors. Both men grew up on dairy farms, close to Warwick, Ontario, and worked together for a local orchard. After several years of learning how to care for apple trees, Pete and Bert (and his wife Rita) purchased their first farm in 1985. Later that year, the three worked hard to plant a large amount of apple trees. Like many businesses in the area, they named their company after the small hamlet known as Birnam (no longer in existence). A few years later, Pete married Debbie. The four worked hard to acquire more farmland and plant more fruit trees.
With each mass-planting, the Veens and Geerts families planted different apple varieties to expand their horizons. They also began planting peach, plum, apricot, and cherry trees. Along with the expansion of the farm, both of the families grew too.
Pete & Deb with their children
In 1997, Birnam Orchards purchased their current market. After some renovating and installation of a cooler, the store was officially open for business a year later. In the coming years, a wide variety of vegetables were planted to sell at the market.
Birnam Orchards presently owns 92 acres of apples (a number that is still growing), 15 acres of fruit-bearing fresh market peaches (with 4 more planted), and 4 acres of plums. A large assortment of vegetables is also grown, including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. After almost 30 years in business, the Veens and Geerts families continue to look forward to the summer and fall harvests.
Bert & Rita with their children (& grandchildren)