Edmond Joseph Lombardi (1898-1982) pioneered and masterminded the development and progress of Applethwaite Farm from 1937. By the time he retired he had successfully transformed the 493 hectare farm into a loyal community of employees striving for the fulfilment of their ambitions in the process of maximising the production of top quality apples, pears and plums for packing and selling to communities around the world.

Edmond Lombardi wished to give aid to South Africa in the future. So with this thought in mind he had created upon his death the EJ Lombardi Trust with one of its assets being Applethwaite Farm. The Trust has continued the work Edmond Lombardi had begun, particularly in the upgrading of the lives of the labouring population of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The Trust draws income from Applethwaite, and from its other investments, to make funds available for philanthropic purposes.

Applethwaite Farm is one of the larger deciduous fruit producers in the Elgin Valley of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. It is situated 7 kilometres South of the town of Grabouw, which in turn is some 80 kilometres NSEast of Cape Town. Applethwaite Farm fronts onto the Palmiet River on its NWest boundary. Irrigation water is extracted from Applethwaite Lake on this river. The holding capacity of this lake is 2 000 000 000 litres.

During the past 15 years, Applethwaite Farm has embarked on a major orchard renewal program. This was done to satisfy the changing tastes of the people around the world. As a result, nearly 50% of the 282 hectares of developed orchards are younger than 15 years. This includes only 7 hectares of non-bearing orchards.

The remainder of the 493 hectares of Applethwaite Farm is taken up by windbreaks, roads, operational buildings, employee houses and villages, dams and recreational areas.

Applethwaite Farm also has a fully staffed and equipped Farm Clinic, Nursery and Creche and a Pre-School, as well as the Church of the Holy Family. These facilities were created for the benefit of all employees of Applethwaite Farm. Mothers are able to work in the orchards or in the packshed knowing that their children were being properly cared for.