Washington State grower pioneered nectarines in Yakima Valley
Second-generation orchardist Ray “Bud” Redman, Jr., who was one of the first to grow nectarines in Washington State’s Yakima Valley, liked the challenge of producing soft fruits and learning how to improve fruit quality during his lifelong career in the fruit industry. Redman, 83, died in October.
Redman’s father planted the family’s first soft fruit orchard in Wapato, Washington, in 1932 and built a small packing shed in 1940. The family diversified into apples in the 1950s.
The Redman family, pioneers of defuzzed peaches, helped establish the fresh stone fruit industry in Yakima Valley at a time when most peaches were produced for the cannery. At one time, the family operation, R.E. Redman and Sons, included about 600 acres of tree fruit, a warehouse, and cold storage. Most of the property and buildings were sold in a bank auction in 2000.
Redman was a past member of Yakima Valley Pomological Club, and helped establish Washington State’s marketing committees for peaches and apricots. He was also a board member of the Washington State Fruit Commission, a position now held by his son R.E. Redman III (Gip).
Redman was involved with soft fruit research, working closely with Washington State University’s Dr. Ed Proebsting to develop frost tables for spring fruit production. Redman received an award from the Conservation Commission for combining irrigation and frost protection while protecting against soil erosion.
He leaves his wife Patricia, son Gip, daughters Laurie (Redman) Wishkoski and M. Pamela (Redman) Russo, and numerous grand children. Laurie and Gip were involved in the family fruit business.