The Martin family has farmed these Ontario lands since 1820. The apple growing part of our history began with a suggestion from Branko Premlec, a Yugoslavian exchange student with a background in horticulture. Branko and Leighton Martin agreed that the region’s combination of warm summer sunshine, adequate rainfall, rich soil and cool autumn nights would be perfect for producing the sweet, juicy apples that the Martin’s Family has become famous for. With a future full of fine apple varieties in mind, they planted their first trees and waited patiently for them to mature.
The first early harvest of Tydeman Reds yielded four and a half bushels and were sold at the Elmira Farmers’ Market. With a larger harvest the following year, Leighton and his sons set up a stall at the Waterloo Farmers’ Market around the corner. They soon had a loyal following of market regulars seeking out their fabulous fruit. From there, the seed was planted and the Martin’s orchard grew from a hundred trees in 1971 to more than half a million trees on over 700 acres today.
Farming is hard work. But at Martin’s Family Fruit Farm it has been a labour of love for nearly two centuries. We are a family of Ontario farmers who truly care about the land, community, and the food we produce. An enduring focus on integrity and quality, our appreciation for real food, and our commitment to innovation, continue to feed the Martin’s entrepreneurial spirit and desire to create great-tasting foods that support healthy lives and a cleaner planet.