MEAD – Nick and Ivy Presho are still holding out hope of finding a treasure map to help navigate their new dozen-acre fruit orchard.
It was a year ago this month when the Preshos purchased what was once Yaryan’s Orchard on East Day Mount Spokane Road, just a few driveways east of Beck’s Harvest House. John and Beverly Yaryan ran the orchard for at least 20 years, said Don Story, president of the Green Bluff Growers Association; the property went to market sometime after John Yaryan died in 2019.
With the Preshos came a name change for a longstanding member of the Green Bluff grower community: Presho’s Place. The orchard has varieties of apples, peaches, apricots, cherries and pears.
Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, Ivy said. While the couple was able to secure the property, much of the equipment used by the Yaryans was sold at auction.
Meanwhile, a working knowledge of the orchard’s fruit varieties died with John Yaryan, who handled much of the orchard management.
“That’s been the most challenging thing. Not necessarily the all-around operations thing; we’ve been able to figure all that out,” Nick said. “It’s mostly just been identifying fruit trees. When you have 26 different varieties of fruit trees, it’s a pretty challenging endeavor.”
Ivy added, “I knew it would be really tough this first year. We were coming in with absolutely nothing. We knew nothing. We weren’t given a map. I knew it would be rough.”
While the Preshos don’t come from an orchard background, the two are very familiar with the orchard itself – and have big plans for the property in hopes of drawing more business.
Both Nick, 43, and Ivy, 36, grew up around the Mead area after moving to the state when they were younger. Ivy, a Portland native, said she and her family “always came up to Green Bluff for pretty much every fruit we could find” after moving to Spokane when she was 15.
Nick, who moved to the area from Fresno when he was 5, was in home construction, while Ivy runs an online jewelry business, DistinctlyIvy, through Amazon and Etsy. The couple has two children, 2-year-old Josiah and 7-month-old Silas.
“This was basically our spot to get fruit,” Nick said, “so every time we’d come up here, we’d always just look at the place and go, ‘Gosh, it would be great to own this place someday.’ ”
The Preshos were closing on a property across the road when the Yaryan parcel – 40 acres in total, including the 12 acres of cultivated land – went up for sale. They backed out to go all in.
“We love the land,” Ivy said. “It’s really hard to find a lot of acreage in Green Bluff. When we saw 40 acres for sale, and of course the view is incredible up here, we wanted it for that.”
Nick added, “By any means, we did not want to cut down any of the trees or anything of that nature. We wanted to keep (the orchard) running. This first year, that’s been the most challenging thing, along with the identification of fruit, is not knowing what goes into cultivating 12 acres of land.
Upon buying the property last October, the Preshos stayed closed for the rest of the year so they could navigate the transition.
They’ve done some sleuthing in the time since, researching and trying different apples and fruits throughout the property to determine their varieties. Longtime customers of Yaryan’s and other Green Bluff Growers – namely Brad Erovick, owner of Cherryshack Orchard – have helped as well, Nick said.
“You have a very competitive aspect of what’s going on up here. There is that super competitiveness,” he said, “but there are farms out here that want to see other small farms succeed for the sake of the Bluff.”
The Preshos have already made some other significant changes, uprooting two rows of apple trees to make way for a parking lot.
“One negative about this place when I came and a lot of customers mentioned it is it was really hard (to park),” Ivy said. “It was really hard to turn around. It was very narrow.”
Looking ahead, the couple has hopes to make several additions to the business, including a laser tag arena, a gift shop and a food truck.
“We love this place. We want to keep the trees. We love the trees. We want to stay open, if anything, for the folks that just consider this their farm,” Nick said. “The survival of this orchard, I think, is being able to have that vision of new stuff.”
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