When Chet Sidhu moved to the United States in 1980, he didn’t plan on centering the rest of his life’s work around berries. But sometimes life unfolds in serendipitous ways, and now after more than 20 years operating Sidhu Farms, his family is known for growing some of the most phenomenal fruit in the Puget Sound region.
After living in Los Angeles and eventually settling in Puyallup, Chet bought a property to develop as a retirement fund. It happened to have an old blueberry farm on it. According to his eldest son Kamal, who wears just about every hat that’s available at the farm, it was just one trip out of town that changed Chet’s tune – and why he’s still working the farm today.
“One year while he was on vacation, my grandma, my mom, and my brothers picked some berries and went down to the farmer’s market here in Puyallup,” Kamal recalls. “They sold them, made some money, and paid all the bills with that. When my dad came back he goes, ‘I left you guys money to pay the bills, now they’re gonna turn everything off, what did you guys do?’” When he learned the blueberry sales paid the bills, “something just clicked.”
Sidhu Farms now grows over 50 varieties of different berries; an impressive array of different blueberries, blackberries, raspberries alongside specialty fruit like boysenberries, tayberries, loganberries, and marionberries stretch across their 90-acre property in Puyallup. They also still operate the original blueberry plot, as well as a stretch of land studded with a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, cabbage, and brussels sprouts flourish. They also keep bees.
There’s not a whole lot Sidhu Farms doesn’t do. They’ve built their farm from the ground up, as Kamal puts it, “through a lot of trial and error.” This mentality is represented in every aspect of their operation.
The bulk of their land is irrigated via the Puyallup River, fed by glaciers from Mount Rainier – the Sidhu’s set up a pump, a filter, and underground piping themselves to feed this nutrient-packed water to specific sections of the farm as needed throughout the season. Minus a thin staff of pickers during harvest season, the entire farm is managed by Chet, his 3 sons, and their wives – running a circuit of 35 farmer’s markets 6 days a week all the way from Tumwater up to Lake Forest Park.
Truthfully, the reason we use the Sidhu’s fruit in our beer isn’t only because of their organic practices like using bone meal for fertilizer and vinegar for pesticide; nor is it because when you’re standing among their vast rows of berries looking southeast on a clear day you can see the crest of Rainier, the fountainhead hydrating the very soil beneath your feet. It’s because they care more about quality than yield of each fruit they grow, and you can taste it. We’re thrilled to capture these fresh and fantastic flavors in our saisons, and represent the end result of their hard work and expertise.
View The Beers We Make With Sidhu Farms