Cliffside Orchards generated its first profit in the year 1989. Then, the Hermans were operating as wholesalers. By the end of the year 1990, however, the Orchard recorded fewer profits as a result of a decline in crop yields. The Hermans decided to venture into farmer markets such as Sandpoint, Codalaine and Spokane. Jeff Herman stated that this “was a big change, emotionally and spiritually.” The couple states that when they began, 32 years ago, they lacked the technological advantages and technical knowhow that is enjoyed by many farmers today. Jeff, however, acknowledges Phil Unterschuetz’s publication on Organic Integrated fertility Management publication as a crucial guide that helped them through the numerous challenges that they faced over the past 32 years such as the Alar scare of 1989.
The couple has witnessed firsthand the effects of unsustainable agriculture and the use of extreme chemicals in crop growth. As such, they have endeavored to adopt healthy crop growth practices for the sake of their children and the environment. The Cliffside Orchards has been a success story for farmers all over fighting for the cause of purely organic agricultural practices. Part of the couple’s objectives is to provide an example of how maintained organic practices can yield healthy and nutritious tree ripened fruit that is sweet.