The History of Reid’s Orchard
Progress and technology are a historical tradition in Reid’s Orchard family tree. In the 133 years of its operation, tons of fruit and gallons upon gallons of cider have been consumed by thousands of people from Owensboro and far away.
Billy Reid, present owner and grower, took over the orchard from his father, John and his uncle, Robert Jr. who received it from Billy’s grandfather, Robert Sr.
Billy knew early on exactly what he wanted to learn when he took horticulture courses in college. His focused interest could be inherent. In 1873, Allan Reid, Billy’s great grandfather, left a little village located between Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon arriving in America, his original work was to keep his two brothers books for their tobacco industry. Once he’d settled in Kentucky, Allan fell in love with peaches and apples. This fruit wasn’t native to Scotland and was only received when it was shipped from Spain. The lengthy journey did nothing for the quality of fruit which couldn’t compare to that grown in Kentucky.
From the beginning, the orchard Allan purchased was an enterprise. He was a pioneer in developing new technology in pruning and production. He was constantly researching new technology for the fruit and vegetables industry.
The farm was past down to his son, Robert Reid Sr. where the name was changed to Robert Reid and Sons Orchard, when his sons Robert Jr. and John joined the business. In 1978, Robert Reid Jr. left the business and John’s son, Billy joined his father in running the business that is now known as Reid’s Orchard.
The tradition of new technology continues into the fourth generation. The first Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program for apples was established here at Reid’s Orchard for the University of KY where this technology is still used today. Reid’s Orchard was one of the first in the state of KY to use high density apple production where the trees will produce 800-1000 bushels of apples per acre.
Today Reid’s Orchard produces strawberries, apples, peaches, blackberries, pears, cherries, and all types of vegetables for their farm market. In 1986 we started the “Apple Festival”, which today hosts 25,000 people in the 3rd weekend in Oct. The “Apple Festival” has been chosen as the Top 10 Festival in KY and the Top 20 Festivals in the southwestern states in the month of October.