Canadian Nectar Products planting apple and pear orchard in Charlottetown

Maureen Coulter
Published on July 14, 2015

Sister Joan MacNeill and Amarjeet Singh prepare to plant apple trees at The Mount Continuing Care Community in Charlottetown.

©Guardian photo

Sister Joan MacNeill is really excited that an orchard will once again be in her backyard.

When MacNeill was a young girl, her family had an apple orchard in New Annan.

"All the little farms years ago, everybody was brought up to look after things," said MacNeill. "We were always conscious of (the environment)."

MacNeill has been living at The Mount Continuing Care Community in Charlottetown for the last eight years, but she says she has not lost her passion for the land.

That's why MacNeill was pleased to hear Canadian Nectar Products is planting a five-acre orchard right behind The Mount, offering 4,500 apple and pear trees.

Though most of the produce will be exported overseas, the residents at The Mount will be able to sample the fruit once the trees produce.

"It's a great use for the field," said MacNeill. "We are looking forward to this."

Lindsay Dickieson, administrator at The Mount said the land was once used as farmland, so this orchard will preserve some of the history at the facility.

"The land hasn't been turned in many years," said Dickieson. "We think it's wonderful."

MacNeill said the field at The Mount has never seen pesticides.

"The soil is completely organic," she said.

Amarjeet Singh Jatana, president and CEO of Canadian Nectar Products, said they won't be using any heavy chemicals at this site.

"We know it is in the heart of the town...We are trying to grow as much as chemical free as we can," said Jatana. "What our aim is to do something environment-friendly with less oppression on resources."

Jatana said he feels this orchard will diversify the city of Charlottetown.

"People will like to see how successful this is and if the trees are successful," he said.

"The Island is a very nice place and we can do a lot more with horticulture," he said.