This weekend we will have Harlsons and Haralreds along with Sweet Sixteen and Snow Sweet. Haralson and Haralred are about the same apple, Haralred just ripens a bit quicker than the other. We will also have cider and you know from before that if you like cider, then dont wait because it wont last long, it never does! We also may have a few bags of seconds but I'll know for sure once we get to picking them. We only have a couple weekends left so if you want apples, cider or honey, then stop out this weekend. The weather looks to be a little nicer than last weekend so it will be a good time to enjoy some early fall! See you this weekend!
The orchard will be open this weekend with a couple favorites. We will have both Honey Crisp and Sweet Sixteen. Both are very good apples for both eating and making something. As you have heard by now, the orchard had a nasty hail storm this summer and because of that, the Honey Crisp supply will not last too long. Of the 65 trees of that variety, we have apples on about 8 of them. My point is that if you want that kind, then dont wait too long because they will be gone quickly. We will have seconds this weekend of both varieties. There might also be a few McIntosh that are ready if you like that kind. Next weekend, I think the Haralsons might be ready too. I'll let you know for sure next week. We wont have any cider this time around but I think we will next weekend. Of all the apples we have, it looks like the Haralsons might have the best crop of all of them this year. They make a vey good cider! Unless we sell out, the orchard will be open both Saturday from 10-2 and Sunday from noon-4. See you this weekend!
Just a quick update. The orchard closed early today because we sold out! We will be open again next weekend. Thank you!
The orchard will be open this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. Hours will be Saturday from 10-2 and Sunday from noon-4. We will be picking Zestar and also Goodland. Both good in their own way. Each has their own taste and texture. We will have seconds available too. We will also be making a batch of cider for the weekend. In the coming weekends, we will be having Honey Crisp ( very limited ), Sweet Sixteen, Snow Sweet, Frostbite and Haralson. Watch here on the website and I'll keep you posted as to what will be ready each weekend. The weather says a chance of rain but I think it will be spotty at best so come on out and enjoy some of early fall. See you this weekend!
The orchard will be open this weekend September 10 & 11. Our hours will be Saturday from 10-2 and Sunday from noon-4. This weekend we will have State Fair, Zestar and Chestnut Crab Apples. Chestnut Crab is a very good apple and I like to think of it as a mini Honey Crisp. Honestly, I think all apples taste good when you get them right off the tree. They each have something that makes them stand out. We will also have seconds of all 3 varieties. They aren't as pretty but they taste just as good. And we do sell those at a reduced price. Once we start picking for the weekend, I'll have a better idea of what we will have for seconds but I'm sure we will have a bunch. We will also have cider this weekend. We will be making a batch so if you like fresh cider, then dont wait too long because it never lasts very long! We had a good opening last weekend and were busy. The weather is supposed to cooperate so it will be a little more like fall which is fine with me. We'll see you this weekend!
The orchard will open for the fall this Saturday at 10. We will be open Saturdays from 10-2 and Sundays from noon-4. The hours are shorter this year because of our smaller than normal crop. If we run out on a particular day, we may close early too, so if in doubt, just give us a call. This weekend we will have Zestar, State Fair, Hazen and Prairie Magic. We will also have seconds this year but not as many as we had originally anticipated. Once we started to pick through them we saw that the damage from this summers storm was worse than we had thought. Alot of the Zestar especially cannot be sold because of the condition they are in. So, long story short, we will have seconds, just not as many. We will have a good supply of normal apples which is a good thing! We also wont have any cider this weekend, again because of our smaller than normal crop. If we do make a batch, I'll be sure and let you know about it. Again, thanks to you all for your patience and understanding this fall and we hope to see you this weekend!
The last few days it has been a great time to be outdoors. We extracted honey from our bees and they had an excellent year. Over the years, I have planted acres of clovers and wild flowers for them and this year it appears to have paid off. Its a 2 day process extracting honey but its well worth the time and effort. There is nothing better than the taste of fresh, raw honey. I swear I can taste apple in it but maybe thats just me :). If your like me and enjoy the taste of fresh honey then be sure to stop out to the orchard starting next weekend. You can see in one of the pictures that I have 2 electric fences around the bee yard. The bears can smell that honey from a mile away and for years the fence has done its job. I just hope I dont get a bear who can figure out how to turn off the fence.
The orchard will open for a shortened season on Saturday September 3rd at 10 am. Our hours this fall will. be Saturdays from 10-2 and Sundays from noon-4.
The last few years have been a challenge to say the least but in a couple weeks, we will be ready. You just need to stay positive! The majority of what we will have this fall will be seconds and we will have them for sale in half-bushel bags and a very reduced price. They may not be the prettiest, but they are still fine for apple sauce and apple pies. If you are looking to cook alot or just want to stock up your freezer, this is the way to go. We will also have some normal apples but until we actually start to pick them I'm not sure how many we will have. At this point, the majority of the varieties we will have will be State Fair, Zestar, Sweet Sixteen, Haralson, Prairie Magic and some Honey Crisp. I will post each week what will be available. There will also be other varieties but in smaller quantities and again, until we start to pick them we won't know how many there are. All the apples are about 2 weeks behind because of the late spring this year and thats why the late start. On a positive note, the bees are looking to have a good year, so there should be a good supply of fresh honey available! The apples this year will also be pre-picked. You are certainly able to walk around the orchard, but we will do the picking. This may be a shorter season than we normally have but it will still be fun. Fall is one of the best times to be outside.
One last thing for those of you who have not been to the orchard before. We do accept both cash and checks but not cards. I have had several people ask and thats why I am mentioning it here. At any rate, I want to thank all of you for being patient as we go through all of this and we hope to see you in a couple of weeks! I put in a few pictures of what we are up against this fall. A hail storm can be a nasty thing!
Just when you think things are going to be a bit more normal, this happens. Sunday we had another storm with wind and hail and it has taken out at least 50-60% of this years crop! Im starting to sound like a broken record. This is the 3rd time in the last 3 years that the weather has played a major role in what we are trying to do. Alot of the trees have shredded leaves and broken branches. The storm didnt last too long but it still can do damage that's for sure! There may be some apples that are ok, but it will take a month or so for me to go through each tree and see. Alot of the apples have dents or holes in them and they will rot by the time they would be ripe for picking. Those that survived may be ok for applesauce or pies but again time will tell. I am trying to stay positive through all this and at some point, we will have a normal year. I just keep telling myself that! Anyway, I will keep and eye on things and in about a month I will have a better grasp of what we will have this fall. We may have some seconds but they will still taste just as good. And who knows, we may even have some normal apples once I get to digging around in the trees. Fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted!
Phase 2 has arrived. That is better known as the fruit set. First we had the bloom period and now we have the fruit set. Right now, the apples are about the size of a pea or a nickel on some of the trees. We then will have what's known as the June drop. Thats when the tree thins itself out and gets rid of a pretty good amount of the apples. The tree seems to know what it can handle. Those that remain will become this falls crop. I usually go out and hand thin trees that are extra heavy with fruit. Too much fruit on a tree can hurt it and certain varieties are better at this than others. This is also the time when bugs decide that they also like apples. I put alot of traps in the orchard and because I also raise bees, I am very particular about what I spray on my trees. I usr an organic pesticide that only gets the caterpillars that I am after and doesn't hurt the bees at all. The trees get stressed by all sorts of things and last nights storm wasn't any different. We lost a bunch of trees because of it. It didnt last too long but the trees we lost were snapped off like a tornado had come through. The last few years have been a test of patience for sure and this summer seems to be no different. We just need to pray for a decent amount of rain and a few less storms. I guess when we all look at it, this summer seems to be like the last few. We made it through those and I'm sure we can make it through this one too!