Like most crops battered by the cool, moist spring climate and late season hail, apple crops in some areas of west central Minnesota are somewhat smaller this 12 months than previously — and somewhat bruised.

However they’re nonetheless tasty and prepared for consuming — or for making pie, crisp and apple sauce.

Though there are fewer native orchards open for enterprise than previously, good locally-grown apples will be discovered.


6051 75th St. NW

After following Randy Huisinga down a gravel street and thru a secret opening between two very tall corn fields final week, an old style scene emerged of individuals selecting apples from neat rows of apple timber.

A few of the pickers had been perched on sturdy ladders and crammed material apple luggage draped over their shoulders whereas others packed the purple fruit into crates.

Sunnyside Orchard is a 10-acre apple orchard with a 35-year historical past.

Planted by his father, Ted Huisinga, as a pastime and managed by “Apple Invoice” for a few years, Randy Huisenga stated that is the fourth 12 months he’s operated the orchard.

Honeycrisp is his favourite.

“However I simply completed consuming a Honeygold, and it was fantastic,” he stated.

Huisinga estimates there are 700 timber within the orchard, together with about 200 new Honeycrisp timber that had been planted final 12 months that gained’t produce for an additional couple years.

He’s at the moment harvesting Haralson, Honeycrisp, Honeygold, Prairie Spy and Regent.

This hasn’t been the perfect 12 months on the orchard.

“This 12 months, the crop is basically down,” he stated.

A few of the timber didn’t produce very many apples and the dimensions of the apples is smaller than they often are, he stated. A hail storm that swept throughout northern Kandiyohi County in September was the ultimate insult.

Whereas he could have apples picked, washed, sorted and prepared for buy, Huisinga stated there can be no common hours this 12 months on the apple home, situated close to the orchard, about eight miles northwest of Willmar.

Various crates of the Sunnyside apples are bought to Sandy Saulsbury of Spicer, who makes and sells apple crisps underneath the identify “Sandy’s Apply Crisp.”

Whereas it’s disappointing to not have a bumper crop of apples this 12 months, Huisinga’s enthusiasm and love for rising apples isn’t diminished. “There’s all the time subsequent 12 months,” he stated.

Chilly Spring

27587 Hidden Co. Rd.

A day-long Fall Apple Thyme Pageant takes place this weekend at Hidden Cove Orchard, situated between Chilly Spring and Avon in Stearns County. Actions are scheduled for 10 a.m. to five p.m. for in the present day and Sunday.

The Gary Menke and Dave Spoden have owned and operated the well-groomed five-acre orchard and reward store since 2003.

They at the moment have 250 timber and 11 kinds of apples which can be harvested, bagged and bought at their retail store — which additionally consists of apple pies, dumplings, cookies and seasonal dwelling decor and antiques.

The shop is open from 9 a.m. to five p.m. each Thursday by Sunday from the tip of August to the Sunday earlier than Christmas.

Throughout this weekend’s Apple Thyme Pageant there can be stay music, distributors, meals stands, wagon rides and leisure for youngsters.

“It attracts fairly a couple of individuals,” stated Menke in a phone interview. “We hold attempting to enhance our competition every year.”

Although the shop is open for simply 4 months, Menke stated operating an orchard is a “continuous enterprise” that features months of pruning and caring for timber that begins in late winter.

“We take delight in our apples,” he stated. Their orchard solely has apples grown or developed by the College of Minnesota.

Honeycrisp apples are their finest sellers, adopted by Zestar. Different well-liked varieties are Candy 16, Haralson and Souvenir however he stated all of the varieties they develop promote nicely.

Due to the cool climate in August, Menke stated harvest has been operating about two weeks later than regular.

Like most orchards, prospects should not allowed to choose their very own apples at Hidden Cove Orchard.

A Christmas open home can be held on the orchard in early November.

Name 320-685-3186 for extra particulars.


15455 Outdated Mill Street

Jimmy Appleseed Orchard, which is a part of the Glacial Ridge Vineyard situated halfway between New London and Spicer on state Freeway 23, doesn’t have apples on the market this 12 months, in accordance with proprietor Ron Wothe, who cited poor rising situations and the September hail.

“Orchards all around the state have been harm. It’s not simply right here,”” he stated. “ It’s simply a type of issues.”

Regardless of the shortage of salable apples within the orchard, which he stated has about 175 apple timber, the fourth annual 3k Harvest Hike by the orchard can be held 1 to three p.m. Sunday. The occasion consists of wine tasting, caramel apple sampling and laborious apple cider. Admission is $10, with proceeds going to the American Breast Most cancers Basis.

Ron and Kim Wothe bought the orchard in 2004 and began the vineyard in 2007. Though the companies are at the moment on the market, fall occasions are nonetheless scheduled on the vineyard, together with the soup and music evening Oct. 11.


31008 State Freeway 29

When Joraan Forbord was a teen, he wished to begin a fruit orchard on his dad and mom’ Prairie Horizons farm, situated between Benson and Starbuck.

In 2006, when Joraan was simply 19, he planted apricots and apples within the three-acre orchard.

However in 2008 Joraan was identified with a uncommon type of childhood most cancers referred to as synovial sarcoma and he died in 2010 when he was 22.

His dad and mom, Mary Jo and Luverne Forbord, have saved their son’s dream alive and have added to “Joraan’s Orchard,” which now consists of pears, plums, hazelnuts, grapes and aronia berries.

A singular number of apple timber developed by a Minnesota breeder are planted within the “experimental orchard” that’s being grown to seek out which varieties work finest within the terrain — and to honor their son, stated Mary Jo Forbord.

Throughout the final 12 months, the Forbord’s have added a brand new retailer to promote fruit from the orchard, in addition to the licensed natural greens grown of their backyard and processed meat from their well-known grass-fed beef farm.

Whereas the meat and the greens are producing nicely and are on the market on the retailer, poor climate and hail has resulted in a small apple crop this 12 months; however they intend to have “apple tasting” occasions for the totally different kinds of apples grown in Joraan’s Orchard.

The shop is open from 9 a.m. to midday on Saturdays, or by appointment.

For extra data name 320-760-8732

Oakdale Farm & Orchard


23296 235 Avenue

Apples grown with out chemical compounds can be found on the market at Oakdale Farm & Orchard, a family-run farm situated about seven miles south of Glenwood.

The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to six p.m. Monday by Saturday and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.

For extra data name 320-634-4054

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