The opening of Davison Orchard on May 1 marked the 86th year of operation for the Vernon tourism landmark.
Located at 3111 Davison Rd., Davison Orchards has been a staple of Vernon since 1933. It is now open for another busy season of agri-tourism.
With the newly renovated farmhouse cafe now open to the public, as well as the usual gift shops and bakery open for visitors, a new barn that houses animals — including sheep, goats, chickens, cats and pigs — and a playground for children, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
The highlight for this spring are the Blossom Tours, which begin the first weekend in May and will run all spring Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As Vernon’s favourite family destination, the Davisons said they are ready for what’s to be expected as the best year on record and that’s a tall order. In 2018, over 300,000 people came to experience everything the farm has to offer. This year visitors can expect the same hand-made quality jam and pies, as well as farm fresh produce, but there is always something new and improved on the 50 acre working farm.
“Our café has been rebranded and given a fresh facelift as the new “Farmhouse Café”. Our original family recipes haven’t changed, but the décor has been updated and we’ve provided more seating on the patio. We have added new cookie recipes including a gluten free option, as well as classic items such as chicken pot pie and sausage rolls,” said Tamra Davison, the marketing director and third generation farmer.
The Farmhouse Café building is the original family home of first generation farmers Tom and May Davison who built their farmhouse in the late 1940s.
“This is how we came to rename the café. It’s warm, inviting, comforting, and it looks and feels like a farmhouse. Fresh black and white paint and geometric decorations give it a contemporary look but the original hardwood floors and canvas awnings give it a wholesome feel.”
Also new this season are a pair of potbellied pigs named Esther and Polly who live in the timber frame barn on-site. The kids will be delighted to meet Jewel, a sweet little dark bay pony. Another great new feature is the fully restored 1941 cherry red, Chevrolet pick-up truck, something owner Tom Davison has wanted for a long time, will bring back fond memories for many visitors and create new memories for others.
Though the team is a week or two away until the first crops of 2019 will be ready, the orchards will soon be in bloom which means the grounds will look and smell their best.
Families are invited to visit the farm during spring hours from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Orchard Tours run on Tuesdays at 10:00 am and 11:00 am, Saturdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and on Sundays from 10:30 am – 4:00 pm for the months of May and June. The gift shop is restocked and full of preserves that were made over the winter months when the crops are dormant.
“We’re just so excited to be open again,” said Davison.
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