We have 3400 apple trees including 24 varieties of which Honeycrisp is most popular. We started the orchard in 1990 with 100 trees, and have added several hundred each year since. Our farm is located in Northeast Burnett County (see location).
The orchard is high on a hill in the center of the farm overlooking Poquette Lake. For the 2019 Season, we will be open from Saturday, August 17th to Sunday, November 17th.
It all started quite small in the spring of 1990. I got this crazy idea to plant some apple trees, 100 that first year overlooking Poquette Lake in the center of the farm! Lynn and I followed with a couple hundred trees each year afterward until we reached around 2300 trees.
By 2001 the trees had grown enough to produce a substantial crop. In the mean time we built a little store and packing house with a walk-in cooler and apple sorter sizer. The trees set a full crop in the spring toward what was to be our best crop ever.
Mother Nature had different plant. Around 8:20 pm, June 18th the 2001 Siren Tornado hit us and reached F-4 severity as it came through our area, it destroyed 1700 trees and leveled our store to the foundation. It also took the roof and windows out of our home, part of our barn and killed our horses. We came that night to water running out of all the fixtures, everything in the house soaked , then the next morning we went to look at the orchard. We were so
discourage to see that a 15 minutes storm had wiped out 10 years of hard work, we decided not to rebuild.
Well that wasn’t what other peole thought. We have a wonderful clientele of customers, including many elderly folks that treat us like family. In the next couple of weeks quite a few of these kind people showed up with $10,$20, and $100 to tell us we could do this again. If in todays society you ever doubt humanity, come and talk to us we will restore your faith.
We had our 100 people a day for the first couple of weeks with chain saws, hammers, tractors, trucks, trailers and food showed up to help us with everything. At the same time a group of friends went to work in the orchard propping up about 400 trees that survived and they are still producing apples today. Everything replaced and 11 years later we are in full production, with 3700 trees. With 24 varieties, we sell a good part of the crop in our country store.
Our apples can be found at Schmitz’s Economart in Spooner, and in other various local markets. We also do local farm to school programs. We are fully involved with Spooner food pantry and Ruby’s Pantry in Siren as we try to pay forward what we have received.