See our NEW Website for more info!


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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Where Can you Find Us?

Please check out our NEW website and blog to stay informed on Lapacek's Orchard.

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

Be sure to subscribe to our new You Tube Channel - "Cider After Dark"!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Brief Apple History

I know everyone is looking for more things to do with Christmas rapidly approaching! Here's some fun info on the history of apples!

A Brief Apple History

The apple emerged as a celebrated fruit at the beginning of the peopling of Earth. Whether you start with Adam and Eve or the anthropological data on Stone Age man in Europe, the apple was there. Greek and Roman mythology refer to apples as symbols of love and beauty. When the Romans conquered England about the first century B.C., they brought apple cultivation with them. William Tell gained fame by shooting an apple off his son's head at the order of invaders of Switzerland.
The Pilgrims discovered crabapples had preceded them to America, but the fruit was not very edible. The Massachusetts Bay Colony requested seeds and cuttings from England, which were brought over on later voyages of the Mayflower. Other Europeans brought apple stock to Virginia and the Southwest, and a Massachusetts man, John Chapman, became famous for planting trees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (his name became "
Johnny Appleseed"). Seeds from an apple given to a London sea captain in 1820 are sometimes said to be the origin of the State of Washington apple crop (now the largest in the U.S.).
As the country was settled, nearly every farm grew some apples. although some were very good, most of the early varieties would be considered poor today. Of nearly 8000 varieties known around the world, about 100 are grown in commercial quantity in the US., with the top 10 comprising over 90% of the crop.
Our modern orchards combine the rich heritage of apple growing with research and field trials to grow an annual US crop exceeding 220,000,000 bushels. New varieties are still being discovered and cultivated, with the best eventually becoming "household words" like McIntosh, Delicious, Empire, Rome, Spartan, Cortland, Granny Smith, etc. Recent arrivals include Fuji, Braeburn, Liberty, Honey Crisp and more than a few "throwbacks" to antique varieties enjoying a resurgence.
It can certainly be said that an apple combines the best attributes of "something old and something new".

from the WAGA website: http://www.waga.org/history.html
Friday, December 12, 2008

Cold Cider!

Yup, Jared and I pressed our "last" batch of cider tonight. We planned on pressing 60 bushels but we ended up doing just 30. It was so COLD we weren't getting the juice out the apples we should have been... We made enough to fill all the orders our customers emailed/phoned in for tomorrow, but we'll see if we need to do it one more time for the Christmas Tree Farms.

We are planning on getting up early to make our last batch of caramel apples tomorrow. It's crazy to think apple season is pretty much done...

Remember you can always give us a call and set-up a time to pick up apples...there is still some in our cooler!

If anyone is looking for something to do tomorrow night, feel free to stop down at Lazy Jane's Cafe at 1358 Williamson Street in Madison for the Second Annual WIST Holiday Trunk Show. I'm going to be selling my crafts there along with 21 other vendors. We will be serving complimentary champagne and hot apple cider (from Lapacek's Orchard, of course!). Also, if you get there early you get a free swag bag (the first 30 guests). Hope to see yout here!

for more info go to www.etsy.com and search tag: WIST
Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving and Apple Jackets!

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. Ours was very nice. Jared, the girls and I headed up to Green Bay to my parents were my mom had cooked an amazing meal with TONS of wonderful food...of course, I brought an apple pie.

We have a big day planned for tomorrow...Cedi's turning 2! We're going to have a 'Dip It' party because she loves to dip her food. I haven't started cooking or wrapping presents...it may be a late night.

I just wanted to let you guys know of a wonderful, little quirky gift for the apple lover in your life. Check out Jacquelinekits's apple covers: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5057379&section_id=5061019. I think they would be a perfect stocking stuffer! If anyone ever has anymore great apple gifts please send me the link...I'm always looking for new things in my shop!

Thanks and have a wonderful rest of your day!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Last Day

Hello all! As you know today was the last day the apple store was officially open. My father-in-law, Frank pretty much has run the show for the past few weeks...sounds like things ended pretty well. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to call if you want some more apples! We'll help you out as long as we still have some!
Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Monday!

Well, I believe that the Hand Crafted Hoedown for the Holidays was a huge success. We had LOTS of people coming through our sale on Saturday. As always, it was wonderful to see the familiar faces along with the new. If you saw something at the sale you didn't buy but wish you did, please contact me and I'll try to connect you with the seller of that item. Also, if you're looking for some of my jewelry it will be at the Capri Gallery in Poynette starting on Wednesday.

Now, back to apples! Our last official day open will be on Wednesday. After Wednesday, if you would still like some apples please call, 608-635-4780 to schedule a pick up time.
Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hand Crafted Hoedown for the Holidays!

Yesterday was the first day for the hoedown and it went spectacularly. We saw lots of familiar and new faces which is always wonderful. We had a little bit of a lull in the afternoon time and during dinner, but overall it was fairly steady. That being said, we still have TONS and TONS of really neat hand-crafted items.

One of our biggest hits yesterday were the recycled sweater felted mittens....people just love them! Luckily, Karol made a lot of them so there's still variety for you to choose your favorite pair today.

I also wanted to note for anyone who likes to knit or crochet, we have hand-spun yarns by Kitty Grrlz (http://www.kittygrrlz.com/) for sale (she's from the Milwaukee area). She does an absolutely beautiful job and I hope you stop by to check them out. (My favorite are the bamboo yarns!)

This year, I was lucky enough to get some of my Aunt Ellen's rosemauled items for our sale. A few Christmas's again, she was chosen to have her ornament hung on the White House Christmas Tree. She has written two books (Rosemauling with Ellen, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and just paints gorgeous items. My mother's family is very large (we will have around 100 people there this year) and instead of doing gifts, we all make ornaments to decorate the tree with (we rent a hall...too big for anyone's actual house). At the end of the Christmas Party, we all draw a name and whoever's name you draw you give them your ornament. Every year we all hope that our Aunt Ellen draws our name :)

I could go on and on about other crafters/artists that are at our sale, but I really hope you decide to just come and see for yourself!
Thursday, November 20, 2008


Well, we spent all day getting the house organized for the hoedown tomorrow...and boy, does it look fantastic. My artists/crafters impressed me once again for there beautiful, innovative and unique products for this years sales. I really hope if you're in the are you decide to check it out. More details on our website: www.lapaceksorchard.com

Friday 11/21/08 from 9am til 8pm
Saturday 11/22/08 from 9am til 5pm

Must get some sleep now :)

Adventures in Cider Making

Last night, Jared and three friends made LOTS and LOTS of cider (I had to watch the girls). So, I was in bed by the time the rest of this happened. On the way over to the store to deliver the cider, the truck ran out of gas (about a mile away). Jared had a little bit of gas in the truck for his chainsaw so he put that in...now the battery was dead. Jared left the truck and ran back to the house and got some more gas, jumper cables and more gas. His buddy Al drove one of the vehicles to deliver and they made it back safely.

Just another example of our fun lives :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Featured Seller - Mary Lou!

Mary Lou Stronach is making tole painted items for our sale! She does an amazing job with her painting...the detail and shading are just incredible. She has a great eye for color and makes some of the most adorable items. Last year her things sold quickly so make sure to get to the sale early!

Remaining Sellers! (Krista's Kitchen...yummy!)

Okay, okay, so I've been slacking a little bit on my featured seller bit...well, in my defense I've been trying to make more amazing things for the hoedown and just haven't had the time. I'll try to do a bit more tonight though: (I think I'm going to blog, make something, and then blog so be patient with me! (I'm an engineer...I have to have wierd plans like that...))

Today, I got a list from Krista's Kitchen on all the wonderful goodies they will be bringing to the sale:
-Cranberry Kringle Bars
-Turtle Bars
-Pumpkin Apple with Struesel Topping Muffins
-Cinnamon Pumpkin Chip Muffin
-Cranberry Nut Muffin
-Chippy Dunker Cookies
-Cranberry Orange Scones

Is anyone else's mouth watering over this? Wow! I can't wait!
Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quilting and Featured Artist!

Well, I just returned from my day spent at the quilt retreat in the Wisconsin Dells taught by my aunt-in-law, Barb, and of course, my mother-in-law, Diane. The project this year was a log cabin, but I just didn't have time to prepare for that so I just went up for the day to work on some things (I didn't want to leave my husband overnight with the girls just yet). I made lots of oragami bags and I did the mini-project and made an awesome appliqued wall hanging. I can't wait to quilt it!

Since, I just spent the day with Barb I decided to make her my featured artist for the craft sale! Barb has gorgeous hand-dyed linens, adorable purses, some hand-dyed clothing, and of course, quilts! Barb does an excellent job in all of her craft projects. She's not afraid to try something different and has a joy for teaching others her craft. All of the machine quilting on the quilts (Barb's, Diane's, Karma's and mine) was done by Barb. To find out more about Barb and about the quilting retreat for 2009 please check out her website: www.quiltsbybarb.com!
Thursday, November 13, 2008

Featured Seller!

Janet Koivisto sews some great items for our sale. Those will include quilted table runners, table toppers, tree skirts, totes, aprons, stockings, towels, fabric bowls, and pillow cases. The items she makes help make your home festive or make wonderful christmas gifts.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GreenLeaf Market!

So, Jared and I posted some things on the GreenLeaf Market website this morning!

This is what the GreenLeaf Market is:

"Why is it easier to buy from someone 2,000 miles away than it is from someone 20 miles away?" -Jack Kaestner, Executive Chef, Occonomowoc Lake Club

GreenLeaf Market makes it easy to buy and sell local foods, no matter where you are. We automate the process without taking any percentage fees. 100% of the sale price goes to the producer.

This site will work in any state for both buyers and sellers. Save time and money by using GreenLeaf Market to order local product, automate purchase orders, see what local product is currently available, keep track of past purchases, and more. See how it works...

GreenLeaf Market is only for businesses. If you are an individual looking for local foods, or a farmers' market seller, see Local Dirt.


Hopefully this is another successful outlet for our apples. So far our little store, farmer's markets, the produce auction, and schools have boughten most of our apples but we're always looking for new ways to get our product out locally!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Featured Seller of the day!

I was trying to figure out who I could feature today and this cold weather helped me to decide: Karol Tomlinson! Karol makes adorable felted wool mittens (using up-cycled sweaters!) that are sure to keep your digits warm in this cold weather. Karol has been a loyal customer to our apple store for years now and I'm very excited to have her as a part of our sale.
Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hi all! I just wanted to let you know that I am in the process of listing some of my winter/holiday hand-dyed onesies on my website (www.kimscraftyapple.etsy.com). These would be perfect christmas gifts for any little one you know! I hope you check them out!

SOAP! What wonderful SOAP!

Another item that we will be offering at this years craft sale will be handmade soap from Jen Geerdts. Her scents for this year will be: Lavender, Candy cane (peppermint), Christmas tree (pine and balsam), Myrrh, Frankincense. She plans on growing her soap business next year once her youngest is in school full time. We offered her soaps last year at the sale as well and people really enjoyed them. Make sure to come and pick up a bar!
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cold and Craft Sale

Wow! It was chilly selling up at Pardeeville...I made until about 12:30. It was just cold, with a chilly, drizzling rain pretty much the entire time I was up there. It was nice to see some familiar faces along with a few new ones! I think it would have been a good time if the weather would have been just a tad nicer.

Our featured artist for the upcoming sale today is Becky Donahoe. Becky is Diane's sister-in-law. She makes beautiful hand-woven baskets. I currently own a large one that works perfectly for my kids' toys and one with feet on it that I store some of my kids' books in. I'm hoping to get one that fits on the stairs this year. She does a beautiful job with her color choices and designs. her craftsmanship is superb. One of her more unique baskets she had at last years sale incorporate deer antlers into the basket. These make very nice christmas or birthday gifts for anyone and everyone! The top picture on the craft sale webpage shows a few examples of some of the baskets Becky has made (http://merr.com/users/lapacek/crafts.htm). Make sure to check it out!
Friday, November 7, 2008

Pardeeville, Holiday on the Lake

I wanted to let you know that I will be up in Pardeeville tomorrow selling apples, cider, caramel apples and crafts at the Pardeeville, Holiday on the Lake festival (http://www.pardeevillewi.com/). It sounds like a lot of businesses will have specials going on and some great food will be served. I hope to see you up there!

Upcoming Craft Sale! (Featured Artist)

Hello Everyone! I hope things are going well. The apple store is starting to slow down so that means I'm starting to have a little time to focus on making things for it. If you haven't had time to check out our website please do so to learn about some of our crafters/artists that will be selling at our sale. One of my sellers was recently featured on the Daily Page of the Isthmus, here's what they wrote:


Madison Etsy explorations: Jenny Blasen Pottery
Shopping locally online
Megan Larson on Wednesday 11/05/2008 3:00 pm , (6) Recommendations

When I was young, birthday dinners were chosen by the honoree. We got to pick the entire menu and it was served on a birthday plate that let everyone at the table know that it was your special day. I loved that my plate was different than the others. And with that tiny gesture, a typical family dinner was turned into a treasured memory.
Jenny Blasen has done the same with her
Star Flower Cupcake Stand, created initially to make her daughter’s birthday a memorable one. Perfectly sized to fit one cupcake, it is the bright highlight to any birthday girl’s plate. Each handmade piece at Jenny Blasen Pottery exudes that same warmth, making it feel like it was given the extra care that I imagine that first cupcake stand was made with.
Blasen's pottery ranges in items from dishware to decorative pieces. Her work can be seen at
The Kitchen Gallery at 1354 Williamson Street, in addition to Etsy.
Blasen answered a few questions over email about her work and art.

The Daily Page: When did you open your Etsy shop and what do you sell?

Blasen: I opened my Etsy shop right after Christmas of last year. I am coming up on my first year anniversary and just made my 100th sale! I sell handmade functional pottery.

Do you have a day job? Does your shop pay the rent?

As a stay at home mother of two, I have been taking pottery classes, on and off again since college and am totally addicted to clay. Originally I started my Etsy store to get rid of all of the pots I had been making and to make some money to cover the cost of studio fees and clay. My youngest will be starting kindergarten next year and I hope to work in clay full-time. I currently work at a community studio, which is great, but my goal is to save enough money to set up my very own studio.

What advice do you have for people interested in starting an online store?

Some people think selling online is as easy as opening a store, but it takes time and effort to get a loyal customer base and you have to spend a little money to make money!

Etsy is an online marketplace whose mission is to "reconnect makers with buyers." These explorations will connect you with the makers in your neighborhood.

You can check out her things at: http://www.jennyblasenpottery.etsy.com/

We're super excited to be having her participate in our sale!

The Hand-Crafted Hoedown for the Holidays will take place on Friday, November 21st (9am -8pm) and Saturday, November 22nd (9am - 5pm).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Make sure you remember to VOTE today!
Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy November! New Hours!

Hello everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable weekend. I pretty much had the weekend off from the apple store (other than the SP Farmer's Market) because a close friend of mine got married (the wedding was super fun!).

Just wanted to let everyone know that now that it's November we're going to be starting our winter hours:

Monday - Tuesday: closed
Wednesday - Friday: Noon - 6
Saturday: 9-5
Sunday: 10-5

If these hours don't work for you please feel free to give us a call (608) 635-4780 and make an appointment!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Busy Day!

Well, we had a busy but fun day. We took the girls to Treinen's corn maze and had a super good time. I may have taken finding all the pieces to the maze a little too seriously for a 8 mo and 23 mo old, but hey, we completed it in record time! They definately have a great, family friendly setting at there place. Lots of things for everyone to do.

When we got home it was costume time! Cedi was a beautiful little princess and Capri was an adorable little apple. We snuck into a neighborhood in town and took Cedi trick or treating. She did really well. She even said Trick or Treat and Thank you a few times with out prompting. We also made our stops at Necie's, Aunt Peggy's and Buddy's and Grandma and Grandpas (we stopped at Ron & Nancy's but they weren't there). Cedi was passed out in the van by the time we got home...she had a long day!

Jared and I made more caramel apples and now I'm going to go to bed so I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed for my last market in Sun Prairie!

On for tomorrow night: Scott & Leah's wedding! (www.leahandscott.com)

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Jared had off of work today so he took the girls to the orchard and left me here for the entire morning to craft! It has been quite fun. I did some painting (I'm experimenting with crackle) and made some more jewelry (always fun). This afternoon we are taking the girls to the Treinen corn maze. I'm excited to do that...it should be lots of fun :) Then, we're going to put them in there costumes (Cedi's a princess, Capri an apple) and take them trick 'r' treating. I LOVE halloween. I hope everyone enjoys there day and don't forget to stop by for your apples and cider!
Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cider Making Pictures

Check out this link for some neat pictures of us making cider taken by Pat Fischbeck from the Speckled Hen Inn:



Hello, everyone! I know it's been awhile since I posted. I think things are starting to slow down at the store and I've been savoring a little bit of laziness. Things at the apples store are going very well. We still have LOTS of apples, cider, and caramel apples, so don't hesitate to stop by to get some more.

This is the last week for the farmer's markets. I was at DeForest on Tuesday night and wow, it was cold! I enjoyed being there and I think it went very well considering it was the first year that DeForest has had a market. It always help when the community is so enthusiastic and supportive of the markets. Frank went to Waunakee for the last time last night and it sounds like it went well (I haven't been to the store yet for a full report). I have the very last market at Sun Prairie this Saturday. The weather forecast looks a bit nicer than it did for me on Tuesday night. If you miss us at any of these markets don't forget that our store will be open until at least the day before Thanksgiving!

I have been crafting like crazy in anticipation of our upcoming holiday hoedown at the orchard. I have a few new listings on my etsy site: www.kimscraftyapple.etsy.com. Also, Diane has created a new page on our website with more details of the craft sale: http://merr.com/users/lapacek/crafts.htm. We hope to see you there!

Kids are calling...write more soon!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apple Picking!

Well, we were able to get everything sorted for our orders by lunchtime, so I headed home to help Jared pick a load of apples. I don't get to do that very often because I'm usually allergic to the fall (luckily we had a good frost last night...they didn't seem to bother me). I had a lot of fun and it was nice to spend some time with my hubby :)

From Blog

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Farmer's Markets...nearing the end, Schools Gearing Up, and MORE!

Well, I have one more market to go to in Deforest and two in Sun Prairie. If anyone is thinking about buying bushels to make sauce or freeze apples please call us SOON and I will deliver them to the markets for you. Also, don't forget that cider freezes wonderfully!

I know everyone will be sad when the markets are done for the year but don't hesitate to take a ride up to our store. We will be open until at least Thanksgiving. Depending on how many apples we have left at that point we may remain open a bit longer...we'll have to see and we'll be sure to keep you posted.

I'm happy to say that we have additional schools that we are providing apples to this fall for the kids' lunches. Not only do we still provide them to Waunakee, Poynette and Rio schools, but Fall River and Middleton schools have also added us onto there lunch menu. Reports have been great that the students continue to enjoy there fresh, locally grown apples! We will continue to provide these schools with apples until the end of the semester.

The guys are still picking apples for us. They've been working on Red Delicious, Cameo (yum!), Jonagold, Empire, Idared, Jonathons, and probably a few others that I'm forgetting. We're thinking that picking will be done at the end of the week but our cooler is stocked up with lots of apples for your enjoyment. We still have 16 varieties of apples for you to choose from.

The pick your own pumpkin patch has been quite a hit! Lots of families are stopping to go for a nice walk on our farm to get to the patch.

On Saturday, my sitter, Kelsey, took my girls to a farm festival and below is an adorable picture of Cedi right after she bobbed for apples!
Monday, October 20, 2008

Places to Visit in Poynette - Capri Gallery

When you and your family take a journey out to Poynette, you should check out what else our small town has to offer. One of our newest shop additions is the Capri Gallery (www.caprigallerypoynette.com). It's a cute little craft/antique/accent shop located on the main street. During the off season, if you are craving some of Kim's Crafty Apple Jewelry you will be able to complete your shopping at the Capri Gallery. I took my first venture into the gallery shortly after my daughter, Capri, was born. I wanted to introduce the owner to the person she named her gallery after ;) It's a very nice shops that I'm sure you'll find your latest treasure in!
Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Additions!

Yes, the rumor is true. We have two new little additions to the orchard as of today. A nice family had an excess of farm kittens and they donated them to the orchard for everyone to enjoy. They are tigers just like the ones we have so make sure to go kitty-searching on your next visit!

Interesting Tip

From 'everyday FOOD' November 2008

Softening Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar is a popular ingredient used in baking and cooking. Once the package has been opened, however, the sugar often loses moisture and hardens. To prevent this, store brown sugar (in original packaging) in a resealable plastic container. To softened hardened brown sugar, place desired amount in a microwavable dish with a few apple wedges. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; microwave on high in 20-second increments until soft (but not melted).
Friday, October 17, 2008

Locked Car, Sorting Mishap, Caramel Apples, and More!

A few days ago, Frank's car thief skills were put to test...this time he failed. He was unable to unlocked someone's car after they had locked there keys inside. Luckily, the nice lady lived just in town and Diane took her home to grab her spare keys. The situation was resolved quickly and she kindly gave us some Beet Jelly for our troubles...yum!

Yesterday we were busy sorting for our caramel apple orders and the final produce auction (that was this morning) when I noticed smoke and that the sorting grids were not moving. I quickly turned off the machine, we moved the leaves away (no real fire started...just a few small flames) and avoided complete disaster. Unfortunately, our sorting machine no longer worked and we still had 10ish bushels to sort for the market and stock our store. Frank was on his way home from picking and he took the motor out and brought it to Columbia Electric to be fixed. The people were very kind up there and managed to fix it by early this afternoon for us. Luckily, we have a 'back-up' sorter that we could run our apples through...we just have to do a bit more hand sorting. We survived this dilemma and we have an order in for a back up motor in case this is to ever happen again (which we should've already had...)!

Jared and I are making caramel apples...again. I think this is just what our lives are going to be like for the next week or so...they've been a real hit. The last of the limited edition mixed nuts are at the store. If you want one make sure to stop in soon.

I'm heading to the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market tomorrow morning. Jared will get to spend a bit of time with our girls in the morning. I'm sure he's looking forward to that...he hasn't gotten to spend much time with them lately.

The weather forecast looks wonderful and we're looking forward to another beautiful, fall weekend. Hope to see you at the orchard!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008


are we busy... I don't even think I can properly describe just how busy we are right now, but I'll just give you an example of my girls' babysitting schedule today. They went to Denise's in the morning around 8 for the day (normal). I picked them up at 4, one of my weekend sitters, Ashley came to the orchard around 4:15 and watched them unitl 6. Then they go to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa until about 6:15/6:30 when they were dropped off once again at Denise's. I picked them up around 8:30ish. We had to do this so we could get apples sorted for our crazy large caramel apple order and do everyday store type things during the day. Frank had to go to Waunakee for the Farmer's Market and at the same time Jared and I had to make cider and Diane had to watch the store. Typically, after 6:00, Diane and Frank would just watch the girls, but this being the only night of the month that they have there Badgerland Produce Auction meeting that didn't quite work out and they went to Denise (thank you again Denise!).

On tap for tomorrow: Caramel Apples, picking (my parents are coming to help...thanks mom and dad!), sorting, more caramel apples

I apologize if this blog doesn't make sense...I need to go to bed...

On a sad note, I have to report that the gala's are all sold out for the season. Make sure to try a Cameo when you come in...I'm a huge Gala Girl and I am really enjoying the cameo's right now...
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Visitors and Caramel Apples

It has been a beautiful weekend at the orchard! I attended the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market yesterday morning and really enjoyed the weather--almost summer-like, with a touch of fall. The forecast for today looks like it's going to be even nicer! Perfect day for a visit, perhaps...

We had LOTS and LOTS of visitors yesterday. Everyone called me on Friday to see if they could come. First to show up were my mom, dad, Aunt Betty, cousin Trish and her daughter, Lily. The women dropped my dad off at the orchard to pick apples while they made an annual trip to the Madison Farmer's Market. My mom bought me some yummy cheese that you fry up and it's delicious...thanks mom! Then my brother, Brian, and his girlfriend, Sarah, joined us just after noon. They spent some time weighing pumpkins for people and hauling pumpkins back from the patch on the gator. After things started to slow down they headed over to our orchard to get some picking experience of there own. My friend Kaitra (Capri's godmother) showed up at the house just before 6. She has been really busy this fall and it's her first trip to the orchard this season. Kaitra is always a big help with the girls (they absolutely love it when she comes!)and around the store (she has some experience in retail...aka Port Apothecary). It always calms down some of the craziness of this time of year when we have friends and family coming to lend a hand.

Jared and I have been up for awhile getting some more caramel apples made for today. They went over quite well yesterday. And don't worry, we made some more limited editions for everyone to enjoy!

Hope to see you today or soon!
Friday, October 10, 2008

Cider and Caramel Apples and don't forget the cows!

Above are some adorable pictures a mother sent me of her little boy feeding the cows! As you can see he wasn't afraid of them at all! How cute! When you come into the store please make sure to ask to feed them if we don't bring it up. Sometimes we just forget how fun it can be!

We have had a busy last 12 hours. Last night we made cider with the help of our friend Jay and his daughter, Taylor. Then we woke up early to finish up some caramel apples for Treinen's (www.treinenfarm.com) and for our store. We had to make some more limited editions...they are going over quite well! Frank will be heading up to the produce auction this morning. Jared has off of work today so he will be picking apples. Diane and I will be running the store and sorting apples for Smith (a fruit stand on hwy 22/33...i think...) and the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market tomorrow. The girls are going to Nisie's for possibly there last friday. They just love it there and they get to play with other kids instead of sort apples!

Make sure to stop by and say hi!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beautiful Weekend Ahead

Well, if the meteorologist's prove to be correct, we should have a beautiful weekend ahead of us! A perfect time to visit the orchard to feed the cows, play in the sunflower field, scavenge for cute little kitties, laugh out our crazy emus, hike up the hill to pick the perfect pumpkin, or just lounge around in our play yard area. We are going to be busy, busy, busy making caramel apples for some large orders this weekend and pressing some more fresh cider.

I had a couple today that stopped by because our orchard was mentioned in the DeForest Tribune as being the best place for apple cider (unpasturized) in the area. The gentleman was so anxious to see if it was true that I gave him a cup and he tried it right then and there...we passed! It's so nice to be surprised by these articles and to realize how much the community enjoys our little place. We've worked hard in the last few years to make it what it's become today and hope to continue growing it into a place your families will remember visiting for years to come.

As always, feedback is always welcome. We love hearing from you about either what you LOVED or what you wish we had available. Next time you stop in make sure to ask me for a survey to fill out so we can improve our store. I try to hand them out but sometimes it just slips my mind. Well, I'm going to try to make a little jewelry before I start labeling the apples!

See you this weekend! (I hope!)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rainy Tuesday

Unfortunately, due to the rainy Tuesday I packed up early from the DeForest Farmer's Market. Apples like to bruise when they get wet and no one wants to eat a bruised apple (trust me). Also, the people just weren't out in the rain and I got home early enough to play with my kids, have Capri fall asleep in my arms and read Cedi a story before bed (it was AMAZING...rarely happens anymore with the business of apple season...I LOVED IT).

The cider demo scheduled for this evening also did not take place. Diane was there and ready but unfortunately the crowds were not standing in the rain waiting. Maybe we'll try again next year if the weather is better...

Weather permitting (meaning rain), I do plan on attending the DeForest market until the end of October. Hopefully if you missed me today you can catch me next week or feel free to come up to our apple store. Rain does not close us down up there!

Car Thiefs

Sunday afternoon a group of people (4) stopped by the orchard to buy some apples. One gentleman waited in the car for the Brewer's inning to be over before he came out. Much to their dismay, when they went back to their car after filling up on apples, the keys were in the car and the doors were locked. Frank and Jared did what they could to help. They started with a screwdriver but that didn't work at all (he basically just held in his hand). Then, they pulled out the coat hanger. Finally, after about 10 minutes, Frank was able to jimmy the lock with the coat hanger and they successfully opened the car.

If this apple business doesn't end up panning out, we can always look into breaking into cars!
Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sweatshirt Off My Back

I always jokingly brag that I am the best salesperson in the family. I may have prooved that true the other day when I litterally sold the sweatshirt that I was wearing. A fairly regular customer came in and was checking out all the hand-dye hooded sweatshirts we have for sale. She kept commenting on how much she liked the one I was wearing, then would look at the others, comment again. Finally, I told her that the one that I was wearing was for sale...I had just gotten cold the other day, had no sweatshirt, and had taken it down and put it on. Like that, a sale was made! When you come into our store make sure to look up when entering the back room. We have quite a selection of hand-dyed hooded sweatshirts hanging near the cieling.

I grudgingly got out of my warm bed early this morning to get suited up for the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market. I put on many layers...including my long underwear and had Jared heat me up some hot cider for the thermos. It was quite chilly when I left. Once I got to the market and started to set up I warmed up quickly. I was able to strip off a few layers to cool off a bit. I have a hard time keeping track of the time at the market in the morning, but it wasn't too long before it really became nice and I was just down to a long sleeve tee under a regular t-shirt. It really changed into a beautiful day quickly. I picked up some delicious shrimp for my in-laws from the seafood guy, Wally, and I picked up some scallops for myself. I am going to try one more time to cook them properly. I absolutely LOVE scallops when I get them at restaurants but have been unable to replicate them in my own kitchen....we'll see what happens...

Another beautiful day at the orchard. I wasn't there this morning (I was at the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market) but I heard that lots of people decided today was the day to visit the orchard. Surprisingly, the frost did not damage our raspberry crop too badly. There were still pickers out that found some beautiful, tasty berries. Our pumpkin patch also recieved some visitors. We really need to get some better signs up showing how to get there (side note for myself) so don't be afraid to ask us if you want to pick-your-0wn pumpkin. Squash have also been flowing out of the store smoothly. If you are worried that there is too much squash in what you pick out I must tell you, it freezes wonderfully! We will freeze enough (hopefully) that my girls will be able to eat it until we have squash again next year.

Limited Edition 'Mixed Nut' caramel apples have thus far been a hit. We are currently making the second batch of them. I hope you decide to try one out when you stop because they won't be around long!

Take care!
Friday, October 3, 2008

Good Morning...Caramel Apples!

I woke up this morning to the smell of caramel heating. Jared had gotten up earlier to start the caramel apples we needed for the weekend. I went and got Capri, changed her diaper, got her dressed and passed her off to Grandma. Then I headed downstairs to complete my labeling job for the the caramel apples. Around 7:30, Angie Treinen pulled up to the door of our commercial kitchen and I loaded her up with the caramel apples we made last night for her busy weekend. We continued to make our own caramel apples. We finished up just a few minutes ago. After sleeping with the taste of our 'special edition' mixed nut caramel apple on my mind, I decided we needed to do some more of them. I really think people are going to like them.

After a quick shower I plan on heading over to the apple store to help customers and sort apples for the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market tomorrow. My mom has agreed to stay through tomorrow to watch the girls so I don't have to worry about them...I know they are in good hands. Frank should be loading up for the Badgerland produce auction right about now. I'm sure Jared is getting changed into his picking gear. My guess is Diane is trying to get more gourds/squash/veggies picked for your pleasure. Everyone has their niche in our little farming business which makes it fairly easy to work together (there are moments, of course). Word on the street is that my dad may head down today to lend a hand as well...only time will tell. I do have to thank my parents for all the help they give us during the apple season. They have been in the middle of moving from Port Washington, WI to DePere, WI, through basically our entire season and they have still made time to help us out when we need it. I know our lives would be much more difficult during this time if it weren't for their help.

Last night I managed to make a few new earrings. Be sure to keep an eye on the jewelry section of the store. It is always changing as I make new things to add to the collection.

Hope to see you this weekend!
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quilt of the Week...sorry...instead, Handcrafted Hoedown for the Holidays!

This is my last entry for the night (I think...). Once again I have had no time to get a quilt story ready for a quilt of the week feature (maybe I'll find tomorrow but I'm not planning on it...). So, I'm going to switch the topic to our upcoming Handcrafted Hoedown for the the Holidays. It is going to take place on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd at the orchard. Well, it will actually be in the house, but still at the orchard. We are going to have 10+ people bringing their things to the orchard to sell. It's a great opportunity for everyone to buy local, handcrafted items as special gifts for the holidays. There will be more information to come as I here confirmation from the participants. Stay tuned and watch our website (http://www.lapaceksorchard.com/) for more pictures and information!

September's Recipe Winner

As some of you have noticed I have a box on the counter at the orchard to collect recipes containing; apples, squash, cider, pumpkins, blueberries, raspberries, zucchini, peaches, pears, and plums (anything we grow at the orchard), for our next cookbook. Each month I am holding a drawing. This month's winner is: Roger Dorman, with his recipe for Dried Apple, Apple Pie. He will recieve a gift certificate to $5 off any bag of apples. Be sure to drop your recipe off or email it to me at lapaceksorchard@gmail.com to be entered in next months drawing!



We just completed making LOTS and LOTS of caramel apples for Treinen's and for our weekend crowd. Last year we put out a limited 'special edition' caramel apple for Halloween with orange and black jimmies...this year our limited 'special edition' caramel apple has a mixed nut topping (AND IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!). The mixed nuts include peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts. (Allergen info: this product contains peanuts and/or tree nuts) Before making too many of them I had Jared make me a small 'sample' special edition. It was the best caramel apple ever! So Tasty! I'm a big mixed nut fan and the combination was perfect with the caramel and the nuts and the apple. Be sure to try one out...don't wait too long...we are only going to make so many...


We just pressed another fresh batch of apple cider last night. Our friend Jay and his daughter, Taylor, were kind enough to lend us a hand. We're at the peak of our cider season so we kept busy last night. We also had a visit from Pat Fischbeck from the Speckled Hen Inn, www.SpeckledHenInn.com, who took pictures of the cider making process. They should be posted on her website in the next couple of days.

My babysitter's daughter had a baby boy late Tuesday night...Trexton Neil, 8lbs 30z, mom and baby are doing fine. (Congratulations Jeff & Nicole!) She needed a day off to be with her daughter and grandson (understandably so) so, my mom is here for a few days to watch the girls. Cedi is very excited to see Grandma Van. I'm sure Capri is too, but she's a bit too little to talk.

If anybody reading this gets the Poynette Press be sure to check out this weeks Opion article, A Black Sheep. Amber Tyler is kind enough to write her entire editorial about how wonderful Lapacek's Caramel Apples are. If you haven't tried them I strongly recommend that you do. You can now buy them not only at our store and the farmer's markets we attend (DeForest, Waunakee, and Sun Prairie) but at Treinen's Farm (http://www.treinenfarm.com/) near Lodi, WI. They have an AMAZING corn maze you should definately take your family to for a fun fall adventure!

We have our last two groups of the season today. Should be a nice day for it...maybe a little chilly, but hey, it's fall!

Have a wonderful day and weekend! Don't forget to stop by the orchard for your apples, cider, caramel apples, squash and pumpkins!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apples...what else?

Karma made it back to Virginia safely and actually a little ahead of time. We were all sad to see her go, but glad that she was able to visit for a bit. My girls loved playing with Ka-ma and I know Frank and Diane were thrilled to see her.

We're still keeping busy with apples. Frank headed to the auction today and I went to the Deforest farmer's market. I am a bit disappointed to report that the turnout to the market has been decreasing steadily as we get later in the season. I hope you all decide to show up next week, at 5:00 for Diane's cider demonstration. It should be a fun, interesting time. With this cold weather arriving don't forget how wonderful a mug of hot cider is or how tasty a warm apple crisp can be.

You may get to see my girls at the store. My siter's daughter is currently having her first baby (Congrats Nicole!) and I'm still trying to figure a few things out. My mom will be here later in the day and my friend, Julie, from Creek Bed Farm http://www.creekbedfarm.com/ agreed to watch the girls for a few hours until my mom got here. I think the girls will be with us for the first tour of the day though, so if you stop by you may get lucky and get to meet/see them.

Alright. Sorry this is a boring post...I'm tired. Hope to see you at the store!
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raspberries, Apples and Karma

Late Thursday night, my sister-in-law, Karma, flew into Milwaukee from Virginia. She rented a car and headed over to our house, arriving around 10. We had previously decided she would spend the night here and surprise her parents in the morning...they had no idea that she had planned to spend the weekend. Months ago she had called me and asked me which weekend was the busiest that she would be able to help with. I told her the last weekend in September...which is proving to be true again next year. She decided to take a trip and watch the girls for me during this weekend. Now, I LOVE all the sitters that I have watching the girls during apple season but it is really nice to just have one for them. Yesterday, Karma just came to our house to play with the girls...that was the first time they spent the whole day at home in a very long time.

Anyway, back to the surprise. Friday morning we all got up. Jared went over first to help with sorting. Then the girls and I headed over. I went into the sorting room and told them the girls wanted to say 'hi' to grandma and grandpa before they went to the sitters (they like to fairly often). Of course, they come rushing out...can't ignore the grandchildren. About a minute later a car pulled in (Karma) and I was like, "Man, we already have a customer." Diane glanced at the vehicle, then looked back at Cedi. Then she looks again and yells, "Frank, get over here!" They were both incredibly surprised and ecstatic. Karma coming home was just what everyone needed to get through this busy time.

I do have to note that I am TERRIBLE with secrets and I managed to keep this one for months! Very proud of myself.

Make sure to stop out at the orchard soon! We have LOTS and LOTS of apple varieties out. The raspberries are delicious and the pick your own pumpkin patch is ready to go! See you soon!
Friday, September 26, 2008

Pick Your Own Pumpkins!

Yes! We are opening up our patch for pick your own pumpkins starting today/this weekend! My inlaws planted a beautiful patch! It's in a new location this year so be sure to stop in the store to ask how to find it. There's a bit of walking involved so if you planned to get a lot of pumpkin try to bring a wagon or carrying device. We have a few wagons, but if things get busy they will be limited!

Also, the raspberries are still going strong. We had multiple people over yesterday to pick and they were having a wonderful time! We had a lady come in that never picked raspberries before, was a little hesitant to even try, but when she came in with her brimming full quart of raspberries had a huge smile on her face.

See you at the orchard soon!

Snow Sweet!...or empire?

Yesterday morning I drove our van over to the orchard. My husband and Cedi had picked a few bushels of apples the previous night and I had them in the back. He had told me that there was one bushel of snow sweets in the back. Now, keep in mind, this is only the second year that we have ever had the snow sweet trees produce any apples. So, three of the bushels 'looked' like Fireside, two cortlands, and the other ?...we assumed snow sweet (remember we've been busy and sleep doesn't come frequently in long stretches...).

Once the group of the day was over, Diane, figured she'd get the 'snow sweets' on the shelves. She sorted them and weighed them into 3lb bags (we're only going to have one bushel of snow sweet apples this year). We started to get more people in the afternoon so I started sampling them. One lady had already tried two apples and didn't have room for a third...so I tried it for her...wow, was it TART! Why would they call that a snow sweet? I sampled to others and I think one person bought a bag after trying a sample of the 'snow sweet'.

Here's where things get interesting. Frank and Jared got back from there second round of picking and the fireside are sitting in there designated pile to be sorted (they do this for me...I'm the one that usually gets the apples confused!) He looks at the bushel on the top and says, "These are not Fireside." After a few taste tests and confusion...we agree. I go in the store, take a closer look at our "snow sweet" samples and ask my husband if there had a been a bushel of empires in the van this morning. The answer, "Yes." Mystery solved.

So, after all of that, we (Diane) accidently sorted a bushel of empires, thinking they were snow sweets and put them on the shelves. Once we realized this we took them off, sorted the correct bushel and quickly fixed our problem. Now, I'm pretty sure that I only sold bags to people that had previously sampled the apples...but if you happened to get a bag of 'snow sweets' that look suspiciously like an empire, (deep dark red, with red stems) please let us know.

Once we figured out our problem we had to have a good laugh about it. Good thing Frank noticed that the 'fireside' looked a little off!
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Groups, Groups, and More Groups!

We are officially in the midst of our group weeks! Diane gave THREE tours yesterday! We've had wonderful kids and have been enjoying ourselves. Today we have one at 9:00 and tomorrow we have a BIG one at 9:00...so big, I have to give the orchard tour...hopefully my allergies hold off and I don't walk the kids through the little picker things. As usual, I would say the favorite part of the tour for the kids are visiting with our animals...not the orchard tour or the cider making (although they are enjoyable as well). Group leaders seem to have been happy about how the tours go as well.

If you are reading this and want to know more about our tours feel free to give us a call. We are no longer scheduling any more for this season, but contact us next year at the end of August/beginning of September to schedule your school/group. (We typically schedule the last two weeks of September...maybe into October...we need to still have apples on our trees so time is a little limited...)

From Blog
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Raspberries Galore!

From Blog

The people have spoken: the raspberry picking has been AMAZING and FUN! We should have some raspberries for pick-your-own until the first frost. (this is our first year for this...we're learning as we go :) ) Word is that there are TONS on the bushes. I hope you stop by soon to try it out for yourselves!

From Blog

Cider Demo At DeForest Farmer's Market

I've been passing out pamphlets for the past week abou this cider demo we're doing at the DeForest Farmer's Market on October 7th that says to refer to the blog for more info and I have yet to put anything on here about it! So, here it goes:

What: Cider Making Demonstration (Ever wonder how we make our amazing apple cider...here's your chance to find out!)
When: October 7th
What time: 5:00 pm
Where: On DeForest Street, in front of the library, in the farmer's market
By Who: Diane
With What: the wood press the Lapacek's have used to make cider up until Jared bought the Hazard Orchard in 2002

Please email me or post a question on this blog if there is any information I'm forgetting to add or you're curious about!
Monday, September 22, 2008

Exciting News!

Yes, it has finally happened! Lapacek's Orchard now has a port-a-potty! Our first customer that used it today said it was the cleanest port-a-potty she'd ever seen...may have something to do with it just being delivered :)

What a weekend!

It was an amazing weekend at the orchard! We had the most beautiful weather and lots of fun people and families visiting us. On Saturday morning I attended the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market. It was my first week there with cider and I'm pretty sure people were happy about that. If you ever decide to head over there on a Saturday morning be sure to not only get some apples from me, but try out the scones from Market Street Bakery...they are AMAZING (there apple pies and cheese bread are wonderful too)!

I spent the afternoon at the orchard helping out customers. Kelsey watched the girls for us, thank goodness. We're just so busy it's hard to keep an eye on both of them. Frank helped an old friend of his and got him hooked on mac's. As a treat, he sent him home with a sample Honeycrisp. I would say about 20 to 30 minutes later the gentleman was back...we had him hooked. I believe his exact words were, "It is better than steak!".

I can't remember if it was Saturday or Sunday, but we also had a mom and a daughter (I believe) that made me laugh...they had printed out our webpage and had done research before they came on the apples they wanted to try! I love a prepared person. It is so much like something that I would do! Thanks for stopping if you're reading this...it was fun!

Frank also picked the girls pumpkins on Saturday night. It was so adorable! He was so proud of them. He had to carry them both in and make sure to set them up for there pictures. So cute! Earlier, when the pumpkins were still green they had carved the girls' names into the pumpkins. As they grew that names turned scar-like. They're super neat. Be sure to look at them when you come into the store (window sill to your left as you walk in).

People went crazy with the raspberry picking this weekend! The berries were plentiful and everyone had a good time. Stop by tomorrow or later this week to pick your own fresh raspberries!

Cedi's awake, have to end my blogging for this morning. Have a good week everyone!

From Blog

From Blog
Sunday, September 21, 2008


What a beautiful weekend!
Friday, September 19, 2008

Say Cheese!, Quilt of the Week Alternate & the Gala Dilemma

Hello All! It's been a few days since I've written. Of course, I had to have some internet problems...what would a busy season be without that happening! Luckily it's back up and working... and I have a few new stories to update you with!

Pat Fischbeck, from the Speckled Hen Inn Bed & Breakfast in Madison, WI, visited our orchard this past week. She took some beautiful pictures of the orchard, picking and some of the fun things we offer. She uses our apples regularly at her Bed & Breakfast for snacks and in the breakfasts'. She was kind enough to bring us a few apple scone things she made...they were delicious! Diane and I had two before Frank even got home from picking! Thanks, Pat, it was a great pick-me-up for a long, busy day! To see more information about her bed and breakfast check out her website: http://www.speckledheninn.com/

I also do realize that I have not posted a 'Quilt of the Week' this week. I should really put one of Diane's up but I haven't had anytime to re-type her stories yet. So, instead of featuring a quilt I'm going to feature the upcoming quilt retreat! Diane and her sister, Barb, are holding a quilt retreat this November at Camp Wawbeek in the Wisconsin Dells. They still have some openings for the weekend of November 14, 15, and 16th, 2008. It's an overnight retreat and every year, one or two of the attendee's do stay up all night quilting! It's a really fun time, Diane and Barb are experienced and knowledgable teachers who also like to have a good time. I have gone to three retreats and have enjoyed myself. To learn more about the project for this year check out the details at http://www.quiltsbybarb.com/quiltretreats.htm. Hope to see you there!

And last but not least...a bit of sad news. The gala's are quickly running low in supply. We underestimated the age of some of our gala trees and did not replant quickly enough to avoid a dip in our supply. Our older trees produced tiny, tiny apples. Our newer trees produced big, beautiful, delicious apples...just not enough to satisfy the high demand (it is my favorite apple!). What this means is that we will be running out of gala's soon, probably this weekend, but hopefully, if everything goes well, we will have a continually increasing supply in years to come.

New apple out this week: Fireside! A yummy, sweet apple alternative to the gala. Also known as a Connel Red!

Hope you stop out and see all the new fall decorations we've been putting up around the orchard.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tour Groups and Caramel Apples

Well, we have really started to get into our tour group season! We had two tours go through this morning. Diane leads the tours but it seemed like everyone was enjoying it. We have a rather large group coming at 9 tomorrow morning so I have to lead the orchard portion of the tour. I don't mind doing it since I love talking but I'm much better at the one-on-one stuff :)

Diane also put up a really neat corn shock tunnel for the kids to play in. She added some fun things to it like broom corn and huge sunflowers. I think it turned out very well. Frank and Diane have also been picking pumpkins, gourds and squash whenever they have a minute. It's really starting to look like fall around the orchard! Frank picked up a bunch of beautiful mums again at the auction this week. Stop by and decorate your garden/yard!

After we got the girls to bed, Jared and I made another batch of caramel apples...we're really starting to get the hang of things!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WoW! What a Day!

Things were quite busy today for me. I started my morning off by dropping my girls at there sitter to the day. Then went to the store to sort, fill the shelves, organize a little and get ready for my market. We had a decent crowd come through including a wonderful couple of women with five kids. They seemed to really enjoy themselves...they fed the cows, played with our farm animals, picked raspberries, and in the end, had a little picnic. Very nice people that I was glad to have met. A senior citizen group also came out for a tour of our facilities. They saw how we sort the apples, checked out the cooler, explored the orchard (a bit), saw the animals and ended there visit with a nice little picnic and some raspberry picking.

Just after noon, my parents and Jared came over with a load of apples. We unloaded and grabbed a quick bite of lunch. The remainder of my afternoon consitted of helping customers and packing for my market.

At around 3 I headed out for DeForest, but first had to make a stop at the post office. Regents are ready and they are my sister-in-law, Karma's favorite. Of course we had to send her a few. I volunteered to stop by the post office and mail them out before the market. For some reason I left my cell phone at the post office (no idea how/why?) but didn't realize it was missing until around 6:30. A family friend was kind enough to pick it up...it's amazing how much you miss those things when you don't have them!

The DeForest Market went very well. I had cider for the first time this week and I think the customers were pretty excited about it.

After the market, I hurried home to help make cider. We have our second batch completed...thanks again to Al and John.

To finish the evening I'm finally ordering some pics of my girls...

Apples, Apples and MORE Apples!

Things are going very well at the orchard! We have been keeping busy at the store and in the orchard. Jared managed to get off for a partial day yesterday so I went over to pick with him. I found some honeycrisp that are literally the size of softballs! Amazing! My parents have also been here for the past few days helping with the girls and picking. The cooler is starting to fill up and things are getting done! Jared also has off today so things should really get going. I found him an empire (his favorite) to try yesterday and he is going to be picking some for me today. We'll see if he has any other new variety for us today...

We have our second group coming to the orchard this morning. I'm sure they'll have fun! I'm heading to the DeForest Farmer's Market this evening with more apples than last week. I don't want to run out again (well, at least not until 7!)

I would write in more detail but I have to get moving....it's apple season!
Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy Saturday...

Hello everyone...yes, it was a rainy Saturday. We stayed fairly steady at the store but were also able to get a few other things completed that we really needed to finish. Hopefully we'll have better weather tomorrow. My parents are in town for a few days to help with picking and that doesn't really work when it's raining. They picked a lot of Friday and were able to get out for one load today. Also, our guy FINALLY showed up to start our deer fence. Last winter, when we had so much snow, deer really became a problem in our orchard so we decided to bight the bullet and put up a fence around the entire orchard. I've been hounding our man for months to get down here and get it up (I literally would call every week to see if we were on the calendar or not yet) and he showed up this morning! Yeah!

I have another story to share that involves quite a few people and an adorable kitten:

On Wednesday night when everyone was setting up for the garage sale, our friends' kids, Bailey and Kersten found a little stary kitten. We're pretty sure it was left at our house because it was quite tame and didn't mind being held or pet. The kitten had to be between 6 to 7 weeks old. We put her in the barn to play with the other cats and a family came in and fell in love with her. She is very little so we wanted a family to adopt her and take care of her because we just don't have the time to do it at this point of the season. Unfortunately, the family was going on vacation on the weekend and couldn't take the kitty. The little girl even wanted to cancel there trip! So, I had this great idea: I would use my little 21 month old daughter, Cedi, to convince her dad that we needed an indoor kitten. There's no way a dad could say no to a little girl, right? Well, Cedi didn't do what I had hoped...she pet the kitty and then said, "Put - In - Barn"...(that's were all the other kitties are). She is very into having things in there proper place...needless to say, we couldn't keep the kitty in the house. Luckily, today a wonderful lady came in and fell in love with the kitty (Rainy) and took her home to adopt her. We're very happy to have found a loving home.

The quote of the day, "As I drove by the DeForest Farmer's Market all I could think was...Gas or a caramel apple? Gas or a caramel apple?" (Gas won, but just barely and she came in today to buy two caramel apples!)

Sorry Sun Prairie

Unfortunately mother nature has determined that I will not be heading to the Sun Prairie's Farmer's Market this morning. I do apologize. It's just too rainy and it looks like it's going to continue to be that way for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. I would like to note that the apple store is OPEN! So, feel free to take a short day trip up the orchard to pick up your apples (Honeycrisp, gala, cortland, mcintosh, wealthy, spartan, fuji, paulared, NW Greening and wolf rivers), cider, and caramel apples. We would love to see you there.
Friday, September 12, 2008

Big Apple Week/Weekend

Hello All! I've been seeing lots of familiar faces this past week and LOTS of new ones! It's been a great couple of days at the orchard. We've had a few day cares stop at the orchard and have picnic's and explore the place. It looked like they had some fun. Our garage sale is quite successful. Be sure to check it out tomorrow...lots of fun things...every time I go to the house I find something new that I have to buy!

We're making caramel apples now. I had all these fun things to write but I can't seem to think of them now. Don't be surprised if you see another entry from me soon!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quilt of the Week

I promise to do my best to find some time to put a quilt of Diane's up here next week...for now, another one of mine...

Denim Rag Quilt

This quilt was made using a combination of denim from old jeans, cotton scraps from previous quilts I’ve made, and flannel (back). The scraps add a fun dimensional and colorful touch to the quilt. By combining the denim and cotton I’ve created a heavy, snug quilt for a small child that they will absolutely love. It’s warm and cozy and they love to suck on the rag ends that are everywhere on the quilts. This quilt is sure to become a child’s favorite. Size: 33.5” x 27.5”

Machine Pieced and Quilted by Kim Lapacek

Poynette, Wisconsin



Well, we finished making cider in record time tonight. I have to thank Jay, Al and Jon for all there help. I don't think we've ever had that much help and gotten done so quickly. It felt great. As soon as the cider room in cleaned and sanitized we will be hauling it over to the store and it will be put in the cooler for you to buy bright and early tomorrow morning! We hope you enjoy this years first batch of unpasturized, unpreserved cider!


Hello All! I'm taking a quick breather to update you on the lastest happenings in the orchard! Jared got today off from work and picked apples all day...I looked outside and the trailer is really full! I came with him in the morning to help pick and we started on the Gala's. They're absolutely beautiful and delicious! Then we decided to see how the Honeycrisp were doing...well, they are DONE, READY, JUICY, DELICIOUS, and we picked them. They are currently for sale on the shelves of our store.

After I finished picking some apples I went to the store to help Diane sort and run the store. Our neighbors were busy getting things out for our upcoming garage sale (starting tomorrow and running through Saturday). We stayed fairly busy throughout the afternoon. Frank headed out to the Waunakee market and we got the first of our pumpkins out. It's really starting to look like fall at the orchard!

Well, I have a few minutes to grab a bite to eat! Hope to see you soon!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Farmer's Markets and Caramel Apples

Hello All! It was great to see so many people at the DeForest Farmer's Market today. Unfortunately I under-planned the number of apples I would need and sold out a half-hour early. I apologize to anyone who showed up after I left and promise I will try to plan better for next week! I am happy to have sold out though...that can't be a bad thing...

I just wanted to share with you an email I just recieved about our caramel apples from David Paynter...

I am at my desk enjoying a Lapacek's Orchard candy apple, special delivery from Tom Bewick. Add me to the list of people that say your product "rocks".

Jared and I will be making more tonight!

Raspberries and Cider and Garage Sales

We had a really great weekend. Fall was in the air and everyone was in the mood for apples. We did our first weekend of pick your won raspberries. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. (If you had any problems, please let us know.) And we got many compliments on the wonderful, big berries. We hear they're not so great many places this year, probably due to the recent dry weather. We have a drip line irrigation system in ours so the water is not a problem. We're still learning and your feedback is valuable to us to help us make adjustments.

The first batch of cider will be made Wednesday night and be available here on Thursday morning just in time for the Garage Sale. Hope to see many of you then

Not much picking got done yesterday with the rain, so we're hoping for a good day at it today. The raspberries have had a day of rest and should be looking good for picking today and tomorrow

Frank brought home some really beautiful mums from the Badgerland Produce Co-op Auction yesterday, so I used them to decorate the place...and our decorations are always for sale. (Everything's for sale except the help and the critters. And, yes, those 2 really cite little girls are part of the help.) I want to get some corn stalks cut before the weekend and I picked the first of the gourds, so the place is starting to get that wonderful fall look.

Our first tour group of the year was here yesterday. The Family Resource Center from Portage is always our first. It started to rain lightly 10 minutes before we were scheduled to begin, but we managed to get out to the orchard between showers and checked out our sorting line and cooler and talked about emus inside. Then we got another break between showers so we went outside and saw the emus and cows and some of the older kids actually took a run through the sunflowers field to see the giant sunflowers.

The sunflower field is intended to be a play place for the kids, so be sure to check it out when you're here. We planted in rows this year, and when some washed out in the heavy rains, we just left the spaces. It's kind of like the corn fields so many of us played in as kids.

Well, I think it's time to go picking. The dew is really heavy today, so we'll be avoiding the MacIntosh, at least for a while. They tend to get all kinds of little finger bruises if you pick them wet.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How Could I Forget...Update on Raspberries

I can't believe I forgot to mention that we have opened up our Raspberry patch for pick your own! They are producing LOTS and LOTS of beautiful, gorgeous, large berries! Bring your family, grab a pint, and head out to our bushes!

Apple Season has Truly Begun!

Hello Everyone! We saw a lot of familiar faces yesterday and it was very refreshing! We definately had a decent crowd of apple lovers at the store and the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market.

Well, the apples are finally starting to ripen. The boys picked some McIntosh, Cortland, Jonamac, Gala, and Wolf River yesterday. It is so nice to see our shelves filling up with APPLES! Because of this mixture of apples we are also know offering our Baker's Mix filled with Paulareds, McIntosh, and Cortland to give your baking a wonderful mixture of flavor and texture. Diane always bakes like this and trust me, her family is not disappointed.

My sister-in-law, Karma, just sent me this email that I found interstering and you may too:

Hi Kim. I was just reading my new Runner's World and it had an article on "fresh thinking" when it comes to eating. They talked about a "locavore" who tries to buy local and had some interesting facts... one study found that people are 10 times more likely to have a conversation at a farmers' market as they do at supermarkets. Another study found that local-based food systems used 17 times less fuel than conventional food systems. Thought you might like to hear those :) Karma

We're also starting to gear up for our upcoming garage sale next weekend. The garage has been cleaned and empty. Jared and I have started to deliver boxes of things to be sold. It is going to be a multi-family garage sale and for anyone who is a dedicated garage-saler, you know those are the best ones to hit.

Well, I have to go and make some caramel apples!
Friday, September 5, 2008

Quilt of the Week

Since Diane decided not to save her quilt stories she's just going to have to wait at least one more week before she gets featured...so today, you will hear and see about a beautiful quilt made by my sister-in-law, Karma...

True Lover’s Knot

When I graduated from college, my parents bought me a sewing machine. I soon started clinical assignments for my Master’s of Physical Therapy degree and suddenly I had more free time...no studying and no more part-time jobs!. I found the wonderful swirly print for this quilt, then added lots of fabrics Mom had dyed herself. 71” x 55”.

Machine Pieced by Karma Lapacek,
Poynette, Wisconsin
Machine Quilted by Barb Raisbeck,
Bloomington, Wisconsin



Apple Picking!

Well, it was my first time out apple picking today and what a wonderful day for it! It was the perfect day. My allergies are usually too bad so I haven't picked in about 2 years (I had been pregnant and unable to take much medication-wise to control the allergies). I felt like I had them under control today so I decided to try it. I'll know by about 2am if it was a smart decision or not. I put the girls in for there afternoon nap and then picked north of the house until they woke up. Then, when Jared got home, he watched Capri (Cedi was napping still) and I picked some beautiful Gala's (my favorite).

Once I finished picking I headed back over to the store to finish sorting for the Sun Prairie market. I'm excited that I will have more than just Paulareds to bring (not that there is anything wrong with Paula's but it's so much more fun to have some variety!) I'm currently waiting for the caramel to heat up so I can help make some more caramel apples for this weekend.

Next time you're at the store be sure to check out the cute new gift items I just got it...some adorable farm animal chalkboards and some more super cute planters!

Hope to see you this weekend!
Thursday, September 4, 2008

Winter Squash!

I almost forgot to mention...Frank and Diane picked the first of our winter squash last night. They said it looks wonderful! And we have LOTS and LOTS of really fun and interesting gourds ripening on the vine as we speak! They also added some of there cantaloupe the shelves. We have some seedless watermelon and yukon gold potatoes from the produce auction. The store is starting to fill up!

Apples & Schools!

Hello All! It was a rainy day at the orchard. Not a lot of customers but we got a lot of those little things done before we get super busy. The rain was also really needed so that makes not being able to pick a bit easier to handle. I brought some new jewelry to the store today...these funky chunky necklaces that I've been making. I've heard MANY requests for more necklaces so I've been trying to fulfill that request. I also hung up labels for the new hoodies that we dyed. They are hanging up high in the 'craft & veggie' room so don't be afraid to look up when you walk in.

One of the things we've been working on lately is to try and get our apples out and into the local schools. Waunakee bought our apples for the entire fall semester last year and they reported that twice as many apples were being eaten and that they were seeing less in the garbages. We are continuing to provide apples to them this year. Rio picked up a delivery for some apples today and we will be delivering some to Poynette on Monday. I have a call into DeForest to see if they are interested as well. It's nice to be able to support our LOCAL schools with food that can be produced in there area. Hopefully this works out for everyone!

Enjoy the rest of this wonderfully rainy day!
Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone had a nice labor day and didn't get over heated! Wow, it got to be a hot one today. It was a fairly uneventful day at the orchard. The boys and Cedi went up to the auction this morning. Cedi had lots of fun playing with a couple of the Amish boys up there. She was passed out in the truck by the time they got home...always a nice thing.

Diane, Capri and I ran the store. I sorted some apples while Capri and Diane did some paperwork. Capri and I ended up heading home for a bit this afternoon because she just wouldn't go down for a proper nap at the store. I was able to get a really neat necklace made and a few cool bracelets as well. Hope you decide to stop by to see them sometime.

Jared, Cedi, Capri and I closed up the store at the end of the day so Diane and Frank could attend there annual block party. It was really nice to hang out with my husband and family for awhile. That doesn't happen all that often during apple season so I always savor the time that we do have.

Jared and I also just finished a batch of caramel apples for this weeks farmer's market. They look so tempting...it's hard not to eat them all up now!

Take Care!
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekend at the Orchard

Sorry that I haven't written in the last few days. I just haven't had the energy. It's been a busy few days. My parents came up to help clean the paulareds off the trees on Friday and Saturday. (Thanks guys!) I had to take Capri to the doctor on Friday for her 6 month check up and shots (yuck!) She's 16 lbs 5 oz. and 26.5 inches long. She was not a huge fan of the shots and liked to cuddle with mommy the rest of the day. Her second tooth is also on its way so she hasn't had the best weekend although she has been a good baby considering everything she's going through.

I had the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Once again it was a success. I just love seeing all the people and helping them discover a new apple.

My dad and Jared picked all day yesterday while my mom watched the girls. I think they needed a little break for the mayhem of the apple store. They'll be there this afternoon though. Cedi will be leaving for a little bit to participate in a duck race at her Uncle Buddy's pasture. Should be fun.

Hope you are all having a good labor day weekend and hope to see you at the orchard!
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quilt of the Week

Since Diane has yet to send me the stories of her quilts...hint, hint...(Oh, and I haven't uploaded the pictures we took of them on Tuesday yet either) I will just have to post another one of mine. (It's one of my favorites!)

Disappearing Dog Star Quilt

My mother-in-law and aunt-in-law host and teach a quilting retreat every fall in Wisconsin Dells, WI. At the 2007 retreat I accomplished a lot. It was my first weekend away from home since my daughter had been born the previous year so I knew it was my chance to get some things done. The project at the retreat was to pick a quilt from the “Square in a Square” book by Jodi Barrows. I picked five…I completed three. I did sleep some, so I have to admit that I cut two of the patterns down to baby size quilts making my goals a bit more attainable.

The Disappearing Dog Star Quilt was the second quilt that I completed at the retreat. My inspiration for this quilt came when I was ‘shopping’ for fabric in my ‘mother-in-laws’ stash and I found this adorable commercial dog print fabric. It was just too cute to pass up and I wanted to use bigger pieces of it so one could really see just how adorable it was. The Disappearing Star pattern was perfect for this. The quilt is made with a combination of commercial prints and hand-dyes. I put a piece of yellow flannel on the back to create a coziness I love and I’m sure a child will also love. This quilt would be perfect for either a child or a lap quilt. My aunt-in-law, Barb Raisbeck, did the machine quilting of a doggy pattern with her long-arm machine. Size: 71.5” x 53”

Machine Pieced by Kim Lapacek, www.kimscraftyapple.etsy.com
Poynette, Wisconsin
Machine Quilted by Barb Raisbeck, www.quiltsbybarb.com
Bloomington, WI 2008

Jewelry & Caramel Apples

Well, it's been a busy day for me. I was only at the store for a little while this afternoon. I'm trying to let my girls live a some what normal life until we get really busy for apple season. That being said, I went to the store between nap times which turned into only a few hours. I got very little done at the store, but I got quite a bit done during afternoon nap time. I was able to create some funky new earrings and a really cool, first of it's kind chunky beaded necklace. I personally think it's super cool. I'm currently in the middle of a multi-strand necklace. I hope to try to finish after I finish this post, but we'll see, it's already 10:30. Capri helped me label some of our cool new hand-dyed tableclothes, doiley's, and cloth napkins. They're super cool and will add an unique touch to someone's house.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be an almost every night occurence to make caramel apples, but we did an extra large batch tonight so we possibly will have tomorrow night off...we'll see. The girls helped us for a little while, but then I put them to bed when they had enough.

Also, keep an eye on the store in the next few weeks for some neat new planters and kitchen decoratiosn. I just made an order and hope to recieve them soon.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quilts and Farmer's Markets

The girls went to a sitter today so we were able to accomplish quite a bit at the orchard. Diane got some things sorted out on the computer while I sorted for the DeForest Farmer's Market and helped customers. Then, before the sun got too strong, we took pictures of the quilts for our 'Quilt of the Week' special (which I will be posting...tomorrow sometime probably, or soon anyway) and hung the quilts in the store. The back room is starting to really come together now that the quilts are a part of it.

In the afternoon I finished sorting for my market and then I headed out. This is the first year for the market in DeForest and usually it takes awhile for them to get going. I have to say that it is already a WONDERFUL market. There were quite a few vendors and TONS of foot traffic. I really didn't even have time to walk around and check out other peoples booths...a good thing because I'm busy, a bad thing because I like to spend money. I brought some emu eggs because I didn't have a very large selection of apple varieties (only Paulared and Williams Pride) and I like to fill my table up and I wanted people to talk to me. The crowd definately found them facinating and I was able to chat with quite a few people. I didn't go through as many caramel apples as I thought I might, but now that some have tried them I'm sure they'll be back next week with there friends for more! If anyone is in the area or lives in DeForest I definately recommend checking the market out...it's from 4:30 until 7 on Tuesday nights!

Enjoy the rest of your night!
Monday, August 25, 2008

Calves and Kitties

We moved in 3 calves on Saturday morning. As many of you know, we had our own cattle here until a couple of years ago and our cows were quite famous with all the kids (of all ages) because they would eat an apple out of your hand. Anyhow, a couple years ago Frank decided the fences were going to need alot of repair work and it might be time to get out of the cow business. So we sold the cows.

Our fiend, Dale, has a small beef herd that started out with a couple of cows he bought from us. They are always nice and tame because his grand-daughter likes to feed them cobs of corn. So every year about now, we bring a few animals over to enjoy the one pasture we have left.

This year we decided on some calves that were born this spring. They were ready to be weaned and Dale didn't want to separate the cows from the bull until he was sure next years crop of calves was growing happily. So Saturday morning Dale brought the calves over in his trailer. We backed up to the pasture gate and they stepped right out and went exploring.

Jackson (He's the puppy. He'll be a year old the end of November.) didn't quite know what to make of these new critter running around the pasture and first thought they must be new playmates for him. Fortunately, the calves had a dog at their old home and weren't too intimidated by him.

Anyhow, lunchtime came and I took the girls to the house with me to eat. Kim came in from the Sun Prairie Farmer's Market and we were talking a couple of neighbors coming up out of the ditch behind the barn. I figured something was going on or we were about to be pranked. Then I saw Jared run across the hill and knew something was out. By now a customer was holding onto Jackson by the store entrance and the youngest neighbor (I think he's 8) came around the barn dragging Barney. Now, those of you who know Barney know he's half St. Bernard and half Great Pyrenees and undoubtedly weighs more than Shane. But Shane hang on and we put both dogs in the garage.

Then we (Shane's Mom and Dad and another helpful apple buyer and Frank and Jared and I) went on the chase...down the road and through the fence into the DNR pasture across the road. All the way across the pasture to the other side of another road where they were finally corralled in a pen owned by those same helpful neighbors who were helping us with the roundup. We all got a lift back home and the neighbor got his trailer and loaded the two of them (the third had stayed home where he belonged) and brought them back while Frank worked on the fence.

So we all went on with our day and things were good...until about 6:15 Sunday morning, when Frank heard calves mooing. He got up to check and one was out, but standing near the fence trying to figure out how to get back to his friends. That round was easy and in a few minutes they were all back together again. And Frank worked on the fence some more. About 7:45 we were ready to head to church when Frank checked on them one more time....One was missing. Nowhere to be seen. So, we went looking. He'd gone up the hill and into the adjoining hay field and was almost to the neighbor's house about a quarter of a mile away. It's really lucky we have such nice, accommodating neighbors, because this one helped me walk him back the way he'd come. By this time Frank (and I) had had about enough. So I guarded the critters while Frank got the skid steer and loaded up all the old tube gates we had. And we built a nice, secure, much smalled pen around the calves. They really are quite tame and just kind of walked around and watched us work.

So, it's now Monday night and everybody is home in his assigned place. And I'm pretty sure they'll still be there in the morning. We've been giving them some chopped up apples and they are eating them, so their training has begun. We'll see how many days it takes before they're ready to eat out of our hand.

Today, I had a young visitor who always likes to come with her Grandma to see the kitties. Well, we had babies a couple of weeks ago and hadn't yet pinned down exactly where they were. We thought probably in a wagon of straw. So when Jordan and her Grandma came in today, I took them up there with a container of food and told them to take their time and see if they could find them. Sure enough, they found the hiding spot. It's a long narrow hole and the kitties (Not sure how many. At least one, probably two.) were back far enough that we didn't get to handle them yet, but we're going to work on it. At least we have a chance now that we know where they are.

I printed what I hope is the final draft of our new cookbook this afternoon. One more proofreading and, hopefully, it'll be ready to send off to the printer. We are already collecting recipes for the next one and Kim's cooking up a prize drawing with an entry for each recipe you bring in. I'll let her write more about that later.

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