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

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

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


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N1959 Kroncke Road
Poynette, WI 53955

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

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

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Pin – Candy Apple Pie

Source: tastykitchen.com via Kim on Pinterest


This candy apple pie looks so mouth watering delicious I just had to share it with you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rain and Rainbows

007 The crazy rainy/windy weather we had today reminded me that I had snapped these rainbow pictures the other night from the shop… just thought I’d share them with you…006

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Music Wall Video!


One of the newest additions to the orchard fun is the Music Wall thanks to Diane’s ingenuity.  Here’s a great video one of our customers made of her kids enjoying the fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple Cider in an Apple Cup – of Course!

Source: bhg.com via Kim on Pinterest



I saw this pin on pinterest while I was glancing through my feed the other day. Since I had a little bit of down time when I took an over-tired, cold stricken, melt-down mode Cedi in the house a little before closing, I decided I would try making some special apple mugs for dinner that night.  009  I chose some large Cortland's because they aren’t suppose to brown when cutting them…if you look at the picture this doesn’t seem to be the case. 

013I sliced just the top off the apple and then I used a melon-baller to hollow out the inside of the apple.  Just for fun, I sprinkled a little cinnamon into the apple before filling our ‘cups’ with our very own unpastuerized cider.  012 Even Jared thought this was sort of fun!  I have to say I’m super amazed that we didn’t have any spills.  The bottoms of the apples just aren't quite as flat as real cups…


PS>  I never actually clicked on the pinterest link to see how these are actually supposed to be made…maybe they have some tricks to getting them to look ‘prettier’…

Chickens: Then and Now

Baby Chicks

Remember those baby chicks you visited during Apple Blossom Days this year in May?  022 Well, they’re grown up now and are starting to lay eggs.  023We’re trying to train them to lay in the mornings in their coop but if you are at the orchard and you hear a lot of ‘bawck-ing’ check around for an egg…you just may find one nearby…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Orchard Photo Shoot – Michelle Cross Photography

IMG_9039The orchard truly is a beautiful place to have family photo’s taken.  I’m beyond happy that so many fabulous photographers are using it to take some pictures that families will enjoy for a lifetime.  IMG_0282 The next featured photographer that uses our orchard is Michelle Cross Photography.  The first time I officially met Michelle was just a few weeks after I had Persimoni.  She came with the Walsh family to Apple Blossom Days to take these fabulous family photo’s sans any blossoms (of course, we all know that the apple blossoms were late this year…)  I had however heard about her many times before as she is the daughter of a fantastic Poynette Teacher that often frequents the orchard.  Michelle lived up to her reputation.  She is just a sweetheart and I a person can just feel her joy, passion and ambition for photography when you’re near her.  IMG_0367 I love how Michelle used so many of the great photo ops in the orchard to capture some truly beautiful shots.IMG_0510

To see some shots that Michelle took of her niece playing at the orchard on Labor Day.  Michelle definitely knows the ‘spots’ to take you to and is sure to capture some fun and joyous moments.  IMG_0595  

Check out Mchelle’s website:  http://michellecrossphotography.blogspot.com/

Like her on ‘facebook’:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Cross-Photography/163952323646045

Schedule your shoot at the orchard:

call: 608.338.3144


Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011 Savor and Sample – TODAY – at Thunder Valley Inn near Wisconsin Dells

I’m sure many of our fabulous customers remember the spectacular ‘Savor and Sample’ event that Columbia County Extension Local Food Groups put on at our orchard last year. 


We had beautiful weather for our event last year but unfortunately it’s not looking quite as nice today.  FORTUNATELY many of the activities will be taking place under cover so you won’t have to worry about standing around in the rain.  Pack up your family and head on up to the Dells for a fun day at Savor and Sample.


A great preview article was written up in the Portage Daily Register a few days ago – read it HERE


If you go to the Third Annual Columbia County Savor and Sample Fest:

What: Third annual Columbia County Savor and Sample Fest.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (Attendees may come as early as 8:30 a.m. for a local-foods brunch.)

Where: Thunder Valley Inn and Farms, W15344 Waubeek Road, one mile north of downtown Wisconsin Dells.

How to get there: From Portage, the easiest way to get there is to travel west on Highway 16. At the intersection with Highway 23 near Wisconsin Dells, proceed on Highway 13 north for about one mile, then follow the sign directing traffic over a narrow bridge. Travelers also may use Interstate 90/94 and exit at Exit 87, travel through Wisconsin Dells and turn left on Highway 13 at the intersection.

Cost: Admission to the event is free, but some activities (such as the beer, cheese and chocolate tasting) have a fee, and food will be offered for sale.


This year's event includes several new features:

• A farm tour, in which visitors can ride Wisconsin Dells' famous amphibious "ducks" for a visit to a working milking parlor.

• An appearance by the reigning Alice in Dairyland, Katie Wirkus.

• A chocolate, beer and cheese tasting. This requires advance registration, by calling Sarah Lloyd at 920/210-7335, or emailing Lloyd at sarah_lloyd@centurytel.net.

• Informational sessions on raising chickens in rural or urban settings. (Local ordinances vary.)

• Workshops on topics such as foraging for local food, or preserving foods.

Back is a farmers market, featuring foods grown in Columbia County and cooking demonstrations throughout the event.


I hope you all can go to learn about and support the local farmer’s. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hwy 51 – Under Construction

**UPDATE 10/18/11*** Jared and I just drove on a smooth, newly paved Hwy 51 that construction is COMPLETE! Feel free to take whichever route you want to visit our orchard!

On Wednesday, they started repairs for Hwy 51. This may cause some delays for some of you to get up to the orchard. So, I put together a little ‘detour map’ of an easy way to get around the construction and still get your delicious apples, caramel apples, cider and Saturday donuts.

detour map Go North on Hwy 51. Take a right (east) on Hwy V – this should be right before construction starts. Go east for about 2 miles and you’ll take a left on a road called Helmke. Helmke road turns into Kroncke so if you just stay going straight (North) you’ll run right into our orchard – N1959 Kroncke Road.

Hope this helps! See you at the orchard!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hazen – A New Variety to the Orchard

The pickers (Frank and Jared) just brought a new variety in from the orchard – the Hazen.  We planted our Hazen trees in 2006 and this is the first we’ve been able to try them.

hazenHazens are greenish yellow, medium firm, juicy, very sweet flesh; mildly subacid flavor. Pleasant for eating, good dessert and cooking apple. They have a short storage life.

Stop by the orchard soon to try this ‘new to us’ apple!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why are Apples Sweet?

School tours at the orchard started today. We had two great groups and with those groups came some great questions from the kids. As Lisa, my tour guide, shares these great questions with me I’ll try to shed some light on the answers with you all.

Why are Apples Sweet?

Wiki Answers gave me:

All fruits contain natural sugars, especially fructose. This makes them taste sweet.

You can read more about the amount of sugar in an apple HERE. Something interesting I read was:

The Ohio Apple Grower's Association notes that the natural sugar in apples is slowly released into the bloodstream due to the high fiber content of the fruit.
This relates to the fact that apples have a low glycemic index number of 38. Because of this low number they will generally make your blood sugar rise more gradually, which gives your body time to signal for a smaller and more gradual increase in insulin production.

Research has shown that consumption of low GI foods leads to:

-improved blood sugar (glucose) control and lipid levels in individuals with diabetes

-better weight control because these foods reduce the appetite and delay hunger

-reduction of insulin levels and fewer spikes of insulin

-a lower incidence of heart disease

-a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

If you have an ‘apple’ question just leave a comment and I’d be happy to try and find your answer!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Raspberry Update


Photo taken by Friends in Photography

With the recent cold nights our raspberry’s have slowed down drastically in ripening.  If you’re looking to pick large quantities, I’m sorry to say it most likely won’t be happening in the near future.


Photo by Friends in Photography

Also – our high tunnel was supposed to extend the life of the raspberry season as well but from the looks of it – it hasn’t worked…  Again, we’ll know more in a few days.  The raspberries didn’t freeze but it seems as if they aren’t pollinating anymore.   This entire tunnel is a learning experience for not just us but researchers as well so as more berry season go by we’ll know more about what we should be doing.  Thanks for understanding!


Only time and the weather will tell what’s really going to happen but I just wanted to keep you all posted.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Pin – brussel sprouts, bacon and apples…


Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Bacon and Apples…

Special Signs

014Our two older girls – Cedi and Capri – have taken to writing and helping us make the signs around the orchard.  Be sure to look around and you’ll see beautiful signs they’ve made like this ‘EMUSANDGOATS’ one with the people in the garden.013   016  Capri just drew a picture for her sign…love it!034  Capri picked the cherry tomatoes, Cedi put them in containers and made the sign.  036 Now..the sign above might be a little more difficult to interpret but if you flip it over…035

Cedi was somehow trying to copy the Jalapeno sign…

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mac ‘n’ Tosh – our Emu Pals


photo courtesy of Friends in Photography

Mac and Tosh – our two emus, have been a part of our family since 2006.  You can visit them and wave to them when you visit our orchard.  They are one of the first stops on our ‘orchard walk.’  They’re not the friendliest creatures but they are really neat to look at.  In the spring they also lay some really beautiful eggs that we have blown out in the store for sale - or you can by a painted one.

Fun facts about emus:

  • Largest bird native to Australia
  • It is the second largest bird in the world (the ostrich beats them out in this department)
  • Emus have two sets of eyelids – one for blinking and one to keep the dust out
  • Emu feet are long, with three toes. One toe on each foot has a long talon, for fighting.
  • Emu feathers are soft and light-brown with dark tips. Each feather has a double shaft.
  • Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet
  • They weight up to 130 pounds – females tend to be slightly larger than males.
  • Males (Mac) make a grunting sound like a pig and females (Tosh) make a loud booming sound.
  • The emu belongs to a family of flightless birds called Ratites. Most Ratites are now extinct, and only the emu, ostrich, cassowary, kiwi and rhea are alive today.
  • Emus are fast and can sprint at 30 miles per hour.
  • Emus can swim and if they have to, but they prefer to just play in the water.
  • Emus feed on grains, flowers, berries, soft shoots, insects, grubs and whatever else they can find.
Monday, September 12, 2011

Bring your ‘Play Group’ to the Orchard

 005 Have you been trying to think of a fun place to go with your play group this fall?  How about the orchard!

There are TONS of fun and free things to do here with your little ones.  Why not make a morning or afternoon of it with some other friends too?  Start your day by going on our orchard walk and try your hand at our photo scavenger hunt.  On your way you’ll visit the goats, emus, chickens and kitties!  Play hide and seek in our sunflower field, pick a few raspberries, and play in our tires.  We even have a music wall that your kiddo’s can bang away at and be as loud as they want.006      Take a break in our picnic area and enjoy your lunch with your kiddo’s.  Your kids can play on the equipment while you chat with other mom’s and catch up on things.012

So – get your group together (or just you and your family) and come on over and enjoy our orchard.  Don’t forget your camera!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check Out the New Jugs!

Quart jugs of cider that is…002Yup!  We now offer four options for your cider purchase – gallon, 1/2 gallon, quart, or pint.  It’s added a bit more work to the jugging side of the cider but our customers have seemed to be really happy about more choices.    004  Don’t forget – if you get cider and don’t think you’re going to drink it all within that week or so – freeze it!  Remove some of the liquid to allow for expansion and stick it in the freezer.  When you want to thaw it to drink it just make sure you thaw it completely and shake – still just as good as it was before freezing!


A fresh batch of gallons, 1/2 gallons, quarts, and pints are already in the cooler for tomorrow ready for you and our 9am opening. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Madison Quilt Expo - 2011

034Tomorrow is the big day.  The Madison Quilt Expo opens tomorrow.  The next three days will included 144 informational lectures, 54 stage presentations, 30 sit & sew workshops, 12 hands-on workshops, and a 10 category quilt context and exhibit…let’s not forget about all the fabulous vendors that will also be set up and selling their wares at the show.  040While you’re enjoying all of the fun things I talked about (including taking a class from my aunt-in-law, Barb Raisbeck of QuiltsbyBarb, on “Long Arm Quilting – What’s Not in the Manual) be sure to look for my quilt, “Spring Convergence” that was accepted into the contest and exhibit!041 

I created this piece for the ‘Large Scale Print’ Challenge of Project QUILTING’s second season.  (and yes, those are mirrors in the middle of the yo-yo’s)038   To read more about how I came up with this piece feel free to check out THIS

I am absolutely ecstatic to even have one of my quilts hanging in this show!  AND, to top it all off – I have NEVER been to the Quilt Expo before since it always happens during apple season.  BUT this year, I get to leave the farm early to get a peak at my quilt before the show ends.  Yeah!

First Day of School


Many of you have already met Cedi at the apple store but if you haven’t she’s the one pictured above.  Cedi had her very first day of school on Tuesday (4K) and it all went really well (only a few ‘Proud Mama’ tears from me).  If you’re by the store in the afternoons you’ll probably see our little helper as well.

The biggest change in our lives with school is that there has to be more of a schedule.  We need to get Cedi to her own bed before it gets too late and try not to interrupt things as much. 

When we make our apple cider the girls go to Frank and Diane’s for the night.  Grinding the apples into a pulp for pressing is really loud – too loud for little girls ears.  On top of that, our monitors do not reach tot he cider making room so it’s impossible for both of us to be working out there after the kids go to bed.  025

Mali, Tank, and a Princess wait with Cedi

Making cider on Thursday nights works out well since the girls can have a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s without a schedule to worry about (no school on Friday’s for 4K).  With that said, in the past if we ran low on cider we would sometimes press it on Wednesday nights.  We can’t do that anymore.  Our kids need some stability, even during apple season, so there may be some weeks that our cider supply is low on Wednesdays and Thursdays – like this week.  All I can do is guarantee that we will be making more on Thursday nights and we will do our very best to predict how much we will sell in the week so we don’t run out before the next pressing.

Thanks so much for your understanding and support as we continue to work at making our orchard a great experience for you and your family.


Cedi boarded the bus without a glance back.  I’m so proud of her but can’t believe how big she’s getting!
Saturday, September 3, 2011

Orchard Photo Shoot – Funky Monkey

Orchard-1048 copyMy next ‘Featured Photographer’ for the orchard is Justyna from Funky Monkey: photography with a tale. I met Justyna at the DeForest Farmer’s Market last year and later when she requested to use my orchard for photo shoots I was happy to oblige.  Orchard-1058-2 copyWhen Justyna heard that I had a newborn she came over and did a gorgeous photo shoot of Pip with her sisters right in my house!  Check that out HERE.      Orchard-1067 copyThe pictures you see here are from a shoot she did just over a week ago.  She recently acquired this crazy fun table and chairs and wanted the girls to have a ‘tea party in the orchard’ (and of course they had to wear the dresses I made them using ZoZoBugBaby’s pattern.)  I think these photo’s perfectly fit in with her slogan - ‘photography with a tale’ – I couldn’t have said it better…Orchard-1097  At last Sunday’s Craft-Apple-Ar, Justyna was there doing mini photo shoots!  She has a few ‘sneak peaks’ posted on Facebook but rumor has it more will be up at some point on Sunday (9/4)!  I can’t wait to see more of the fun that was had at our event!


Check out Justyna’s website:  http://www.funkymonkeyphoto.com/

Like her on ‘facebook’:  http://www.facebook.com/funkymonkeyphoto

Schedule your shoot at the orchard: 

call: (608)-512-9005

email:  info@funkymonkeyphoto.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Pin – Apple Sandwich Treat


I think this apple sandwich with peanut butter, granola, and chocolate chips would work fabulously with the Ginger Golds and later in the season with the Cortlands or Cameos since those varieties don’t tend to brown when they’re cut. 

Raspberry Season


Sam Brown (6) enjoying a raspberry, photo by Friends in Photography

One of the ‘extra’s’ we offer at our orchard for fun are pick your own raspberries.  You can either pick in ‘Raspberry Fields Forever’ or on ‘Raspberry Row’.  Whatever you choose is sure to bring great results.  FB FIP LO-29Raspberry Fields Forever can be found just north of our store near the Little Tyke Playground equipment.  Part of the raspberry bushes can be found under the tunnel which theoretically extend their season past the first frost – hopefully we’ll see that it works this year.  There are also some more berries not under the tunnel just west of the tunnel.  FB FIP LO-9

Becky Markgraf and Kenzie (3) in Raspberry Fields Forever, photo by Friends in Photography

Here the bushes are quite tall as they’ve been living there for a few years now. FB FIP LO-12

Kenzie (3) ‘lost’ in berry picking, photo by Friends in Photography

I’ve heard from a lot of parents that they like to pick here because the kids can play on the equipment while they fill their containers. FB FIP LO-71

photo by Friends in Photography

New in 2011 is our Raspberry Row which can be found behind the Goat and Emu area.  here we have some very long rows of berry plants that are quite a bit shorter than the Field berries.  These are the plants that we transplanted this season from the old location.  


Pickers in Raspberry Row, photo by Friends in Photography


They’re not as tall as the other berries but are still fun to pick. 

    FB FIP LO-60

Jen Brown and Clayton (10) fill their tray of berries, photo by Friends in Photography

Some people wonder how we have fall bearing raspberry plants – well, here’s the story:

The raspberries we grow are primocanes, producing fruit only in the fall. They
fit well with our “season” when apples are ripening and can be managed with very
limited hand pruning. Because primocanes produce fruit in the fall from canes
grown the same year, we prune by cutting all canes at ground level in late winter.

If we wanted a summer crop, we would prune only the top part of each cane that
bore fruit in the fall. The rest of the cane would produce fruit the following
summer. After that it would be cut at ground level. Every cane would need to be
cut individually TWICE every year. Instead we can use a mower or brush cutter
and cut the entire patch very quickly.


Becky Markgraf and Kenzie (3) “sampling” the raspberries, photo by Friends in Photography

When you come to pick berries – don’t forget – we strongly encourage sampling when your out in the field.  It’s all just part of the fun!

Stop by the orchard between 9-6 Mon – Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday’s to fill your pint (or two, or three…)!

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