Harold Orchard was a man of many faces: farmer, horticulturist, naturalist and machinist. Born near Port Perry, Ontario, his family moved to a farm near Graysville, Manitoba in 1887. In 1912, Orchard purchased his own farm in the Miami area, which he named the Glenorchie Farm Nursery.
The nursery, established by Orchard, boasted many varieties of small fruits, flowers and shrubs. By crossbreeding, he developed many varieties of apples, one of which he was justly proud, the White Lake variety. In 1930, he was the first in Manitoba to produce fruit of the Melba, a delicious, standard eating apple of MacIntosh breeding. The first certified seed potatoes grown in Manitoba were grown by Orchard on his farm near Graysville around 1910, prior to moving to Miami.
Orchard was known to have encouraged farmers to grow their own orchards. His influence in this field, though hard to measure, was extensive. His success in the field of horticulture made him a recognized authority and province-wide winner at shows. “For long and valued service to the cause,” he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Horticultural Society and received acclaim not only across Canada but in the U.S. as well. An active supporter of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, Orchard traveled all over Manitoba judging plots. Orchard was a life-long member of the Canadian Seed Growers Association.
In addition to his provincewide interest in horticulture and seed growing, Orchard was an active community worker. He was a member of the Miami United Church, the Miami Agricultural Society, Miami and Carman horticultural societies and the I.O.O.F. Lodge. He served 28 years on the local school boards and several years as councillor of the R.M. of Thompson.