Jay and Linda Howell
225 Howell Road, St. George, Ontario
Phone: (519) 448 - 1323
Fax: (519) 448 - 4506
Brantview ProfileBrantview consists of 39 acres of bearing fruit trees along with 4 acres of young nonbearing rootstock. In the past the farm was a mixed operation which included livestock, cash crops and the orchard.
In 1995 Brantview Farms became Brantview Apples and Cider. This transition was due to the fact that the farm focus became the orchard. In 1997 it became necessary to build a suitable facility to accommodate the growth of the business. More refrigerated storage space was needed as well as the decision to add more retail space. Weekly fresh pasteurized cider is pressed year round to accommodate the demand for the product. Annually, we press over 75000 liters of pasteurized apple cider.
Farmers' Markets are now a way of life for the Howell Family. All produce and cider is either sold at Market or at the Farm. Year round, every Saturday you can find Brantview Apples and Cider at the Guelph Farmers' Market on Gordon Street in Guelph, On. Seasonally, June through October, we can be found Fridays and Sundays at Square One Farmers' Market, Hurontario Street, Mississauga, ON, and at Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall on Wednesdays. Over the last fifteen years, we have met many new friends through attending Markets. Many of these have stopped by the farm for a visit, or really to find out if we really are farmers.
In 2004, we added a Pick Your Own operation to Brantview Apples and Cider. We offer a free wagon ride to and from the orchard and our Gator is continuously roaming the picking areas to offer help and advice. We are open to the public for picking starting the weekend after Labour Day, then daily through the rest of September and all of October. After that, the crop is picked and we are open Fridays only through the end of May.
At Brantview Apples and Cider, we have long believe in stewardship both in the orchards and in the community. Since about 1947, we have subscribed to an Integrated Pest Monitoring system. This consists of a person entering the orchard on a weekly basis to look for pests and diseases that have an adverse effect on the orchard and the finished fruit. He or she has a list of various pests that would be flying in the orchard at any given time in the growing season. We work on a population threshold level. Each pest has its own level. If is passes its own threshold, we control the pest. If the population stays under its threshold, we hold off in the hope that the target pest will become beneficial predator later in the season. A good example of this is the Mullein Bug. This pest flies early in the growing season and will sting the young fruitlets leaving a small russetted spot on the skin. In most cases, the fruit will grow around the sting and the apple will be put into juice. This pest later in the season will help control more direct pests such as apple maggot.
We are also using alternate methods to control apple pets. For two seasons, we have used twist ties that are impregnated with female pheromone of the Oriental Fruit Moth. These ties are placed in the trees and the pheromone is released over the growing season. The male OFM flies into the orchard in search of the female only to find a twist tie. He either dies or leaves, thus ending the life cycle of the destructive pest.
This season we started The Community Benefits Program. If your service group or sports team comes to the farm to pick apples, we will make a 15 percent donation to your organization from the sales of our products to your group. Phone the farm for more details.
Brantview Apples is a participant in the Bluebird Recovery Program. The orchard contains some thirty-six bluebird boxes. Each year at least thirty of the boxes are nested in by the same birds. If you would like to join Mr. Howell in the Bluebird Recovery program you can join by clicking on the link directing you to the Bluebird Recovery web page.
HistoryTradition says three Welsh brothers decided to emigrate from Wales to Australia in the late 1600's. On their voyage, pirates took them prisoner and after anchoring at New Amsterdam (now New York City) one of the brothers, Hugh Howell, jumped overboard from the seaward side of the pirated vessel unnoticed and swam ashore. The date was 1690. (research done in 1900). United Empire Loyalists, Hugh's descendants immigrated to Canada at the time of the American Revolution. As payment for his service in the War of 1812 Isaac Bannon Howell was awarded land at the head of Hamilton harbor. Feeling it was too swampy to farm he set off to find more a more suitable place to settle. Brantview Farms was established at its' current site in the early 1820s on land obtained from the tribes of the Six Nations. The high ridge at the southern boundary of the farm is part of a strip that stretches from the St. George area to the Grand River and was a well traveled route by these early peoples. The ridge still exists and on a clear day one can see to the edge of the Niagara Escarpment to the east, and the city of Brantford to the south, thus the name 'Brantview. A rich heritage embedded in the St. George area is shared by Isaac's descendants and James Morgan Howell (Jay) is the seventh generation to farm Brantview. Orchards have always been an integral part of the crops farmed at Brantview and we are proud to offer 28 varieties of apples, ranging from old favorites like Russets and Court lands to recent additions like the Honeycrisp and Gala.