Welcoming fall and apple picking with Country Apple Orchard
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Welcome back! Here we are getting for fall at Country Apple Orchard. I’m here with Greg Jones to learn all about what goes into having an apple orchard and getting ready for fall with apples, thanks for coming out.
“Thanks for being here. It’s a long season leading up to the fall for us. We’re working all winter and all spring to make sure we’re ready for fall and apple picking season. Finally, it’s here and we can harvest the fruits of our labor all year,” said Country Apple Orchard owner Greg Jones.
Absolutely. Many people may think there’s only one, two, or three kinds of apples, but there’s a lot out there.
“There are a lot of varieties out there, and everybody loves the Honey Crisp apple, we have a bunch of those this week in the store but we have multiple varieties in our orchard. This week we’re picking the Herold Reds are getting ripe right now and there are some great apples that probably people just never see in the grocery stores,” said Jones.
Absolutely. And you just mentioned that you planted a slew of apple trees yourself.
“Yes, this orchard is over 30 years old, some of these trees are getting to the end of their useful life, and our goal is to revitalize and keep freshening up the trees so we planted 300 Honey Crisp trees,” said Jones.
Wow. And what drew you to apples?
“Well, honestly we started in 2016 with the wedding barns on the south side of the orchard and after working within the orchard and taking care of those apples within our property, we really fell in love with the orchard and had an opportunity to acquire it in 2021. We’re making a go at keeping it an orchard,” said Jones.
How did last fall go?
“We were pleasantly surprised by the support we got from everybody, we had record numbers out for apple picking from the fall festival. The apples are definitely a learning curve. We’ve had a tough year this year with the drought, the insects, and the early hail but we still have a lot of apples out here to go through and pick,” said Jones.
Well, they look beautiful here. What are these here next to us?
“There are the Herald Reds they’re great eating apples right now. And for those who like a tart apple or something for baking, those would be great for something for that as well. We have lots of these to go through and find the perfect apple you like out here or just take a nice wagon ride with the family through the apple orchard this weekend,” said Jones.
Perfect. Just to wrap it all up, when you’re done picking what are some of the things you make your apples with?
“In the store right now we’re making our own apple pies, and we do tons of caramel apples, I think this weekend we’re going to sell 500 plus caramel apples so that is a lot of man-hours of making caramel apples and pies. And this year we were able to make our own juice as well with another orchard that gives our juice back with some of our apples so we’re excited about that,” said Jones.
That is exciting! Well, you’re getting me in the fall spirit and I’m so excited to enjoy the fall, and you have something going on every weekend!
“Yes, we do. We’re open every Friday through Sunday with the fall festival with tons of activities for the whole family, you can do apple picking, we have a big pumpkin patch, and lots of kid activities, so there’s a good half day worth of activities for the family,” said Jones
Thank you so much for telling me all about it. There’s so much more that goes into it than meets the eye!
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