#2 Double M Farms/ McDowell Hunting Preserve
Produce: pears, peaches, apples, apricots, plums, pluots, nectarines, cherries, apriums, pomegranates, mexican avocados, oranges, lemons, mandarins, limes.
Other Products: eggs, dehydrated pears, BBQ pear wood, fresh/frozen pheasants
Services/Activities: U-Pick pears, hunting (pheasants, chukar, quail), 5 Stand Sporting Clays
The McDowell family has been farming on Grand Island since 1947, when Charles Sr. moved his family from Petaluma. Charles Sr. started farming 18 acres of pears, which are now over 100 years old, and 250 acres of row crops. Over the years, the family has grown pears, sugar beets, alfalfa, feed corn, wheat, tomatoes, dried beans, milo, and safflower.
With Michael, the third generation, operating the farm now, major crops include alfalfa, pears, and wheat. Double M Farms opened its farm to sell direct to the public in the summer of 2011 with picked and U-pick Bartlett pears. Additional picked fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, pluots, nectaplums, apples, apriums, pomegranates, etc) from Michael’s private special collection orchard may be available. The eggs came about when hatching chicks in a suburban high school developed a large flock of free-range chickens for the McDowells. Other commodities for sale include mexican avocados, citrus, BBQ pear wood, alfalfa hay, and straw bales.
McDowell Hunting Preserve was started by Michael in 1991 as a FFA project with 20 pheasants. In 2002 upon returning home from college, he started the hunting preserve. Regular trap shooting throughout the summer started in 2011 to help hunters practice in the off-season. Now the preserve includes 5 breeds of pheasants, chukars, and quail. In 2015, a 5 Stand Sporting Clays range was opened.