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Drop off your plastic bags and canning jars at the orchard and we'll re-use them!

We're always looking for wagons for people to use when they go to our pumpkin patch - feel free to drop off your old or un-used wagons at the orchard!

We're also happy to take any picnic tables you're getting rid of - even if it's just the 'bones' of the table.


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N1959 Kroncke Road
Poynette, WI 53955

Take Hwy 51 North from Madison, go straight onto Hwy 22, turn east (right) onto Hwy 60 almost immediately. Drive 2 miles and go North (left) onto Kroncke Road. We're just over a mile on the left-hand side.

Want to talk to someone?
(608) 635-4780

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Petal Fall

Frank and I just took a walk out in the orchard and the petals have pretty much all fallen. The tent worms are really bad this year. I'm sure you've all seen the nasty things on the roadsides. Well, they really like the orchard, too. Seems like we're cutting a couple out and burning them every time we walk out there.

The bloom was spectacular and the weather good for the bees, so it looks like alot of little tiny baby apples out there. Probably too many little tiny baby apples. So we'll need to remove some of them. If we allow all those apples to grow, the apples we pick this fall will be smaller and there are several varieties that will refuse to produce next year if we let them over-produce this year.

We planted squash plants last week. Lots of gourds, too. We have a trellis that's 90 feet long this year and it will have cucumbers and beans as well as gourds on it. We're prepping the pumpkin patch now and have started seeds in the greenhouse. They should be ready to go out in another week or so.
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Emus on the Loose

Last week while Jared and Kim and the girls were busy picking up blueberries and getting sidetracked on the way home, Frank and I were having a little adventure of our own. We had received part of this year's blueberries that morning and were over at the Kroncke Rd orchard planting them, when the cell phone rang. "The emus are walking down Bohling Rd." we were told. So we loaded all 3 dogs in the back of the Toyota and took off for home. As we came around the corner onto Bohling Rd, quite a sight met our eyes. (Oh, for a camera when you need one.) There was school bus parked in the middle of the road and a pickup truck and a few cars scattered along both sides. Numerous people were walking with their hands up trying to convince two emus that they wanted to go back home....a quarter of a mile away.

Frank jumped out to help and I slid over to take the truck home and get some gates open. I pulled slowly around the bus where the kids were calling, "Hi, Barney!", to the biggest of the dogs. I inched along the far side of the road from where the emus were, trying not to scare them any more than they already were. The last thing you want is a running emu, since they can run 40 miles an hour. I got around them as Frank organized the volunteers, who included several local kids ranging in age from second grade through high school, as well as adults.

I got home and ordered the dogs to stay in the truck, then went to open the gate to the pen behind the shed where the emus live for the summer and fall. They had been in the barn and barnyard all winter, but I figured this was a good time to move them, since it has a bigger gate and an easier approach from the direction the emus would be coming. Then I had to sit tight and wait for the traveling party to come over the hill.

Finally, Frank called to me and told me where he needed me to help turn Tosh. He had a long stick in each hand and was walking her slowly down behind the hay barn up on the hill. The emus are used to Frank since he's the one who brings them food and water every day, so he kept talking to Tosh and when she wanted to turn in a direction he didn't like, he'd lightly tap her on the neck with one of the sticks. He had her almost to the gate when someone up on the hill (the rest of the group was dealing with Mac), called "Frank!". Apparently Mac had decided to run off in the wrong direction. Frank told them to just stand still and wait for him. He didn't want Mac to get running and knew if we got Tosh in, Mac would want to join her.

So he guided Tosh in and I closed the gate and went for a bucket of water, which she was very excited to see. I put it far down into the pen so she would be away from the gate when we needed to open it again. I had just finished when Frank called for me to circle the building and cut off that area as they brought Mac down. A line of about a dozen people came slowly down with Mac in front of them. He spotted his buddy, Tosh, inside the fence and went right up to it. Only problem is the gate was around the corner on the end of the pen. So we all lined up and one of the young people opened the gate. Mac spooked as he was rounding the corner and we thought he was going to head for the hill again, but the youngest helper of all stood his ground and made just enough notion to turn him back.

So both were safely home....and very thirsty. All of the volunteers headed back to their vehicles (still a quarter of a mile away). Frank stopped in the house to check for messages before we headed back to finish our blueberry job. There were 8...two from the Poynette police department..."Your emus are out."..."Your emus are still out." Two from one of our neighbors in the trailer park. That's a quarter of a mile in the OTHER direction (no wonder they were thirsty)..."Your emus are out."..."Your emus are still out." Three more from neighbors..."Your emus are out."

And one from Jared..."We got sidetracked and won't be back until late." If you haven't seen there story yet, check out The Adventures in Blueberries.

So went another day at the orchard.

Thank heavens for great neighbors who are always so willing to help. We do appreciate all of you and who knows where those emus would be now if you hadn't been here when we were busy elsewhere. I wish upon each of you one of those famous Lapacek's Orchard caramel apples. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until August for the first ones of the season.
If you've never heard the story of how Mac "n" Tosh came to live at the orchard, check out their story. Mac 'n' Tosh And read about the excitement they had this winter. The Lean Comes Down

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pantless Sorter: An Adventure from Lapacek’s Orchard

It was a hot, but beautiful day, once again at the orchard. Diane (my mother-in-law) and I were sorting apples while some of our customers were feeding the cows, checking out the emus and exploring the orchard. Diane was sorting the apples into ‘cider’ and ‘sold-as-is' at the tables and I had just poured in a new bushel to go through the polisher and sizing racks. As I was making sure the apples were going through the polisher I suddenly realized that one of the rotating bars from the machine had caught in the hammer loop of my shorts and was twisting them tighter and tighter on my leg. I screamed. Then I quickly flipped the off switch, which was luckily in arms reach and Diane came over to inspect what was going on. Try as I might I could not untwist my shorts from the bar. We finally realized the only way that I could untwist my shorts would be to actually take them off. Now, the location in which I was stuck had a window directly to the right of me, two clear, glass doors looking into the store, a garage door on my left, and a garage/sliding door behind me. Diane was able to close the garage door but I was still exposed on three sides. Luckily, no one was in the store at the time, but people were outside, about to come in at any minute. Diane was kind enough to grab me one of my 9-month-old daughter’s, Cedi, baby blankets to try to keep me covered up. Diane went into the store to create a distraction in case someone were to come in and I quickly hopped out of my shorts, untwisted them, and ran to the corner to put my shorts back on.

Yes, what happened could have been bad…I could not have been so close to the switch, I could have really injured myself. But, in reality, everything turned out fine and I can’t help laughing about being a ‘pantless sorter’ for a few minutes.
Friday, May 9, 2008

The Adventures in Blueberries

This past weekend Jared, the girls and I were in Michigan to pick up the blueberries that we planned on planting at the Kroncke Road Orchard. When we arrived at Hartmann's Plant Company we discovered that not only did they not have anything ready for us, but they did not have ANY of the varieties that we had ordered. This was quite an annoyance because I had called three previous time to confirm the order and pick up time…including the previous day, only to be told everything was ready. So, they ended up finding us other varieties of blueberries that should grow in this area and they threw in forty extra plants as well. They loaded our van with as many plants as they could (200) and shipped the rest for free since they were not prepped in the boxes they had told us they would be.

Once we left we were still upset about what had just happened and were just mindlessly following the directions of the GPS. About twenty or so minutes into the drive I realized we were heading north…we needed to get to Wisconsin, not Canada so this didn’t make too much sense. Earlier in our trip though, the GPS kept trying to take us off of the freeway and we ignored it thinking the freeway would be faster only to be stuck in construction for thirty to forty-five minutes. After that incident I decided to believe the GPS. Well, it continued to take us farther north and we finally realized that when we had chosen ‘fastest route’ the GPS figured that the fastest route to Wisconsin was if you took the ferry. At this point, we were almost to the dock and figured we might as well check it out and see if that’s what we wanted to do. Also, the girls really did not want to be in the car anymore. Just because nothing could possibly go our way at this point in the trip, when we arrived at the dock, they were just closing the gates and the ferry was leaving…we had missed it by a mere five minutes. The next one wasn’t going to be loading for over five hours. We had a decision to make…either wait it out and let the girls play at the beach or throw them back into the van and drive through Chicago at rush hour. We decided to wait it out. The rest of the day went smoothly…Cedi really enjoyed the sand…she even tasted it (she didn’t enjoy that quite as much) and the ferry ride was really nice. We finally arrive home just after 10. One thing we learned was that next time we were going to chose the option ‘cheapest route’ instead of ‘fastest’.
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