apples & cider
We've expanded a 30-50 year old orchard by grafting. Our farm philosophy is that the our successful heritage apples represent time-tested, proven winners in spite of our harsh winters. Therefore, we harvest scionwood from our orchard and graft to semi-dwarfing rootstocks, carrying on the next generation of these trees.
Our varieties include Duchess, Haralson, Beacon, Wealthy, and our favorite for cider: the Chestnut Crab.
The upside of harsh winters: minimal pests. We don't use any sprays of any type. No pesticides, no fertilizers.
Winter is pruning season - we cut branches to allow light and airflow through the trees. Often this is done when the snow is at its deepest and we'll use snowshoes for easy reach. It's a quiet and beautiful time of year.
In spring we welcome the bloom, and take stock of winter damage - the inevitable loss of some of our trees that succumb to cold, or are girdled by voles beneath the snow.
In summer, we thin the fruit lightly to promote growth. We don't worry much about the "look" of our fruit, much of which is destined for the mill anyway.
Fall is the busy time for us as we pull down the harvest, call our neighbors to negotiate pricing on their second-hand fruit, and start milling and pressing the harvest.
Apple Buying Program
If you've got surplus apples, we're interested in buying them! We buy apples at about $0.25/lb (about $6 for a 5-gallon bucketful). For large quantities, we may be able to offer picking service. Call us to discuss your apple yield!
Do you have apples you'd like processed? Join us on the farm to press your own apples in a matter of minutes.
Call us at 218-341-0988 to schedule a time! Available August 15-October 15.
Our first mill was a homemade contraption that was belted to the engine of our lawn tractor. We upgraded to an German-made electric motorized mill several years ago, and the work we used to do over three weekends now takes us a long afternoon.
We use a vertical hydraulic press that expels juice against a stainless steel screen. Also German-made.