Fruit orchards lining the valley floor throughout Chelan County are essential to our local economy, heritage, and scenic beauty. Cold nights, hot summer days, and unique microclimates provide ideal conditions for growing some of the world’s highest-quality apples, pears and cherries. While the vast majority of acreage is in tree fruit, the County has a number of small market farmers who grow a diverse variety of crops including vegetables, fruit, berries, and flowers. They sell directly to customers through CSA’s as well as farmer’s markets and provide a crucial service by providing our community access to fresh produce. We also have a small amount of wine grapes.

As the primary source of employment in the county, agriculture has been a mainstay for over a century. Beyond their economic significance, orchards provide stunning aesthetics throughout the year, set against the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades and gentle rolling hills. Chelan County’s orchards are also deeply rooted in our cultural heritage, symbolizing the rich agricultural traditions that help to define our community. Protecting and preserving these orchards and other agricultural land is vital for sustaining Chelan County’s agricultural legacy and ensuring continued prosperity for residents and visitors alike.

RC3’s focus is on working with growers to reduce the potential conflicts between residential development and agriculture.