Regional Profile with Mileur Orchard
Mileur Orchard is a family owned business first established in 1961 by my father-in-law, Max Mileur, on ground that had been farmed since the mid 1800's by my mother-in-law's family, the Graffs. Howard and I took over the orchard in 1996 when his parents wanted to retire.
The orchard and our Farm Market are located 1 1/2 miles west of Murphysboro on Highway 149 and we drive 206 miles to reach Urbana.
We primarily grow peaches, nectarines and apples but we also grow apricots, plums and pluots. We are known for our dedication to provide unusual varieties of stone fruits and our extensive growing season. We begin mid June and finish harvesting around late September/early October. We offer yellow peaches, white peaches, yellow and white nectarines and 6 varieties of "donut" peaches ranging from the traditional white fleshed to yellow, orange & green.
All of our processed items: jams, butters & applesauce are made from our fruit.
We believe all farming involves some kind of external manipulation to grow and nurture a plant and harvest it or its parts. Farmers use mechanization and chemicals in some form or fashion to produce their harvest. In my opinion, the labels currently used to describe how a food reaches the consumer are confusing and misleading which is why we like participating in Farmers' Markets. Consumers at the markets can talk with the grower directly. The same holds true with individual stores or co-ops like Common Ground who buy direct from the grower instead of a wholesaler. They can get the story of how and where that food product was grown from the person who grew it. We are conventional farmers and utilize the products available to us to grow and support a healthy tree that will provide a bountiful harvest for many years. Customers can ask any question of us and get a truthful answer.
Weather is always the biggest challenge in growing food.
I want the customers of Common Ground to know that we are proud of our fruit and our farm and very grateful to them for supporting us and helping us to raise our family too.