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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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"!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Recipe - Apple Harvest Blondies

I'm going to be featuring another delicious sounding recipe from the Wisconsin Apple Grower Association (WAGA) cookbook.

Apple Harvest Blondies
Mary Jurgensen Halpern, Walworth
2000 Finalist

2/3 cup butter
2-1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium/large Paula Red apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place cream cheese in freezer for one hour. Preheat oven to 350^. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Remove from burner and stir in 2 cups brown sugar and stir thoroughly. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir until well blended. Fold in chopped apples and place the mixture in an ungreased 9x13 baking pan. Chop the cream cheese into small pieces (much easier when has been frozen) and mix with the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture on the batter and bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ETSY in the NEWS!

I took this article directly from the DeForest Time’s Website. I’m so excited!

Businesses turn to the Internet
Scott De Laruelle
Assistant Editor
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scott De Laruelle photo

Kim Lapacek works on project at her home outside of Poynette. Lapacek is one of several area residents who are selling items on etsy.com, a website dedicated to hand-made crafts.

Kim Lapacek likes to keep things pretty laid back at her "store," Kim's Crafty Apple.

In fact, you can "show up" to browse the selection in your pajamas and no one will even bat an eye. That's because Lapacek is one of several area retailers who are using the Internet to sell handmade crafts and clothing to try to beat the recession.

Last February, she started selling quilts, bags, clothing and jewelry on her site on Etsy.com. So far, she has 38 sales, to places as far away as the U.K., with more than 30,000 views.

Etsy.com is one of several Web sites that have sprung up in recent years to connect consumers with independent creators and designers; focusing on handmade goods. Etsy was launched in 2005 and has about 2.1 million members and more than 200,000 sellers listing more than 3.4 million items.

Retailers moved $87.5 million worth of merchandise last year and $32 million already through the first quarter of 2009. According to the site, "We created Etsy to reconnect producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the farmer and shoes from the cobbler."

Making the leap
Many people in the area are familiar with the Lapacek name because of family orchard, something she helps out with in the fall. But she was not trained as an apple salesperson or produce-grower; she earned a degree in civil engineering from UW-Madison in 2005.

After having her second child, though, Lapacek decided to make the leap to stay at home full-time and try to sell her crafts on the Internet.

"It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to bring in a little income doing something I loved while being able to watch my kids grow," she said. "I had a really good job and a great boss, but I'm so much happier doing this."

Before long Lapacek found a groove and is now plugging away and using the Internet to its full potential to help raise awareness about her business.

"I didn't realize how involved you have to be to get your name out there, so now I have a blog, I go on the forums, I 'Twitter,' I have a Facebook page, you have to comment on other people's blogs," she said. "It is time-consuming."

Lapacek was trained as an engineer, designing residential developments, but in recent months she has become an adept photographer in the past year or so; something she said is critical to running a successful sales site on the Internet.

"You have to take good pictures, which is unbelievably difficult, especially jewelry," she said. "I've learned a lot. You're basically creating a storefront."

While Lapacek selling over the Internet isn't "recession-proof," she said the lack of overhead (monthly bills around $10) has kept her burgeoning business from running deep into the red during the past few months.

Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item for four months, and they take 3.5 percent of all sales. Lapacek also uses a Pay Pal account, which takes another 2 percent.

"Overall you're losing around 5 percent, but if you sell through a gallery, it can be 30-35 percent, plus you're just not getting the exposure," she said.

Being able to sell to a wide variety of people has also helped ease the pain of the recent economic downturn, she said. "It's a worldwide thing, so you're out there for people overseas, or people in different parts of the country that aren't having as many problems as other parts," she said. "Sales are a little slower, but my shop is getting full, and I'm getting ready for when the recession is over."

Local artists

Judy Percy of Waunakee was laid off work and looking for ways to earn some income at home. She has always sewed - everything from kids' clothes to Civil War uniforms - but when the recession hit, she wanted to make items people needed on an everyday basis.

"I came up with diaper bags - people are still having babies - and purses and reusable totes," she said.
She found out about Etsy while doing some Web searches and decided to take the plunge. "It felt really comfortable," she said.

Joni Doyle-Sims of DeForest was looking for an economical way to create a Web site to sell her jewelry online, and found Etsy.com. She creates nature-inspired jewelry with precious metal clay, and had sold her work at art fairs throughout the state, but was looking to expand her market, which she has - her first sale was to Scotland.

"I've had amazing experiences selling my jewelry and buying from other artists as well," she said. "I truly believe in supporting handmade art and Etsy is one of the best resources online."

Jill Long of Waunakee said the great thing about Etsy is she doesn't have to concentrate on just one area.

"I love pottery, jewelry, painting, sewing; I'm kind of an "ADHD artist," she said. "I can sell an assortment of art because Etsy reaches a large audience. Anyone across the country, or across the world, can shop in my store."

Kristin Graves of Waunakee joined Etsy.com after her cellular business was hit by the economic downturn and she wanted to be more productive with her spare time. She now has around 200 finished pieces and is starting to list them on the site as she has time.

"I found that I had a lot of downtime at my office so I picked up my jewelry tools again just to pass the time," she said. My friend would stop in to visit about once a week to keep me company and when she saw what I was making, she had to have some pieces. If she was willing to pay me to make things for her I thought, what the heck, maybe someone else would too."

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! AND Recipe Sunday - Apple French Toast

I hope all you father's out here who are reading this have a FABULOUS Father's Day today!

Maybe your wife and children decided to bring this to you for 'breakfast in bed' this morning...

from the Wisconsin Apple Grower's Association Cookbook

Apple French Toast
by Nancy Voge, Black River Falls
1997 Finalist

8 slices of white bread
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 T milk
3 large Golden Delicious apples or 5 mediums
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
Cinnamon (optional)

Crumble bread; place half of crumbled bread in a greased 9x9x2 baking dish. Mix softened cream cheese with milk; spoon over bread. Cook apples, sugar and water; bring to a boil and let boil gently 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until apples are softened. Then spoon all of the apple mixture over bread mixture. Top with remaining crumbled bread. In large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and honey; mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator. Cover and bake at 350-degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more until golden brown and the center is set. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon if desired. Serve warm, with syrup. Yield: 6-9 servings
Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's Growing at the Orchard? - ANSWERS

I've had a couple of guesses and now I'm going to tell you the answers!
B. PEACH (the trees don't look super healthy but we've got a few peaches coming...)

C. APPLE...lots of these!

D. PLUM (yummm!)
Thanks for guessing! I'll take some pictures again in about a month so you can see how things are growing :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's Growing at the Orchard?

Can you figure out what each of these baby fruits are? I'll give you the answers later this week! Hint...these fruits are all growing at the orchard on Kroncke Road!



Good luck!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Recipe Sunday - Apple Pie Cake

Kim is off to her first ever wholesale craft show, so I'm pinch hitting on Recipe Sunday. This is one from our third cook book, which will be available this fall. I have had a draft copy of it by my chair for the couple of months. I make changes and run a new copy which replaces the old. It's getting really close to being ready to go to the printer, which is a good thing because I'm tired of looking at it every time I sit down in the evening.

I picked this recipe because it was on the page that I was currently editing...good reason, huh?

Apple Pie Cake
by Diane Lapacek

1/4 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 T water
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cloves
2 1/2 c chopped apples
1/2 c chopped nuts

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, water and vanilla. Stir in flour, soda and spices. Add apples and nuts and mix thoroughly. Spread batter in 9 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

I'm off to plant pumpkins......
Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don't Sew - What Would I do at the Dyeing Workshop?

il_430xN_69674680One of the fabulous things about this dyeing day is that you can dye anything you want as long as it’s a cellulose fiber – cotton or rayon. My husband’s aunt is a basket weaver and we’ve dyed the reed she uses for her baskets to create some amazing effects. If you are into knitting or crocheting many of the yarns you use can be dyed to be something even more amazing…as long as it’s a cellulose fiber.



I will be teaching a section on ‘tie-dyeing’ techniques. You can il_430xN_48794435use these techniques on either fabric or CLOTHING! You can either bring your own clothing to dye or you can purchase some white cotton clothing from us. We will have things from onesies (all sizes), t-shirts, overall rompers, bubble rompers and little girl dresses for sale.

You will learn a wide variety of folding and tying techniques to get some amazing effects when combined with the dye. I have posted a quite a few images of il_430xN_68755131clothing that I have dyed in the past to show you some examples of what you will be able to create. To see even more visit my website http://www.kimscraftyapple.etsy.com/ and look in the Onesie section, Rompers/Dresses/T-Shirt Section, Hat Section and the Adult Clothing Section.


We will also teach you how to discharge a design onto your clothing once it has been dyed if you desire. To the right I have a picture of a onesie that I discharged a rose onto.


People have brought many different articles of clothing to dye…from baseball hats, to onesies with socks to match to even their husband’s boxers! Be creative and have fun…that’s the whole purpose of the day!


To sign up for the dyeing class at Lapacek’s Orchard in Poynette, WI on Saturday, June 20th please click HERE!

Monday, June 8, 2009

An Experiment with Pumpkins

Last year we bought a mulch layer to put down black plastic mulch. It was our goal to eliminate as many herbicides as possible and still keep hand hoeing to a minimum. Last year we used it for squash, gourds and many of the miscellaneous vegetables we grow like tomatoes, peppers and brussell sprouts. Each row had its own line for drip irrigation, since the rain couldn't penetrate the plastic.

This year, we were dreaming about the benefits of the plastic in a field high up on the hill where water is not easily accessible. I suggested we try laying the plastic in rows close together and plant between them. That way the water would run off the plastic and onto the plants between rows. It sounded like a good idea and I have pumpkin plants popping through in the greenhouse, so Friday afternoon we thought we'd take a try at prepping the field.

We put the first row down, then tried to decide how close we could put the next one without pulling the first row of plastic back up. It took a little playing, but I think it turned out pretty well.

This is how the prepped field looks. That really wide space in the center is so we can still drive through after the vines are full size. It gets to be a really long way to haul pumpkins to the edge otherwise.

We'll be putting the plants in later this week. After some discussion, we decided that we'll plant in every row, but at twice the usual spacing between plants.

You may be wondering why we're starting pumpkins in the greenhouse instead of just putting seeds in the ground. We thought that setting plants would give them a faster start before the weeds have a chance to get going. We first tried it last year and were pleased with the results. With this layout, the vines should fill the open areas fairly fast and the plastic will keep the weeds down on the rest of it until the vines grow to full size. The plastic mulch is photo degradable, so by fall it will be quite brittle and tear as we walk on it and harvest the pumpkins (also gourds and some extra squash, I think). But by then it will have done its job.

It all sounds like a good plan, but it is an experiment, so we'll see what we think by fall.
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Recipe - Microwave Apple Muffins

A nice and easy recipe for this Sunday...

Microwave Apple Muffins
by Iva Donahoe

1 egg
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 grated apple

Mix egg oil, and milk. Blend in dry ingredients. Add grated apple. Use double paper in muffin cups. Fill 1/2 full. Cook on high 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes for six muffins.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Planting SQUASH (lots of it)

We started the late morning with an empty plain old field of dirt...all ready to be planted!
We strapped the girls into their car seats in the back of the gator, loaded up some flats of plants that Diane had started in the greenhouse.
I started to plant while Diane continued to get the remainder of the plants. Initially I thought I was planting ridiculous quantities of brussel sprouts but Diane assured me that she had just reused the tags and they were in fact squash.After all those trips back and forth in the gator, Capri decided it was time for her nap. We put her in the shade, covered her up with my tank top and she pretty much snoozed for the remainder of the planting...quite convenient.

Cedi was our helper...she water the plants after we planted them.
Grandpa was in charge of keeping her on task.

We had around 800 squash plants planted and watered in about 2.5 hours. We still have some more acorn's to get in but we're waiting for them to mature a little more. Hopefully you'll see some squash at the orchard this fall if all goes well!
Monday, June 1, 2009

New Shed - Pictures

I promised some overall pictures of the shed and I am now delivering! Frank and Jared finished putting the steel on the new lean...

Angled side view of the 'motha' of a shed.

Jared cut in the door on Sunday morning...I think it looks nice!

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