Odalens rollin' along with orchard, parade
EL PASO—Duane and Theresa Odalen, who’ve made a livelihood from their Apple Ridge Orchard, are likely to make a lasting impression as the Grand Marshals for the El Paso Days celebration parade on Sunday, Aug. 17.
They will be riding the float that was designed and built by their children. The float will be a ride wagon pulled by a John Deere green tractor.
“There’s a seat for us to sit on up front,” Duane Odalen said Wednesday.
Their orchard, two-and-a-half miles east of Hwy. 63 on CTH G, was established in 1988 when they started planting its first trees. It’s on the farm that had once belonged to his parents, Arnold and Hazel, and previously his grandfather’s. He said the acreage was recognized as a Century Farm in 1982.
In 1988, the weather was extremely dry, he said. Duane’s father began using his father’s well to fill a 300-gallon tank on the back of a pickup truck with a garden hose for watering the first 250 trees planted that year, he said. The watering process took 45 minutes; it was later sped up.
“Then-Gov. Thompson allowed us to use the river,” Duane Odalen said
Because of his dad’s determination, not a single tree was lost.
Each year since ’88, trees have been added, now with a total of 2,500 trees and 20 varieties of apples.
“The last three years have been especially challenging,” the grower said, explaining three years ago the crop was early, in contrast to the last two, when it was much later. Due to an overabundance of rain plus a cold, lingering winter, many of the trees planted most recently are dying.
For more please read the Aug. 6 print version of the Herald.