U-Pick Apples Starting August 5th

Sure, picking apples seems like a pretty easy thing to do. But there’s a little more to it than what most people think!

Did you know? There are hundreds of apple varieties and each one has its own harvest time. At Wills Family Orchard, we care for our apple trees all throughout the season in hopes of offering the best possible organic apples to our visitors. Apple picking in some Iowa orchards can start as early as late July and end at the tail-end of October!

It’s also important to pick the apple a certain way to not injure the fruit bud that will produce next year’s apple. Here’s the best way to pick an apple:

Lift the ripe apple up toward the sky and twist slightly instead of pulling it straight down toward the ground. A ripe apple will come off the tree pretty easily.

If you want to pick your own apples at Wills Family Orchard, you will pre-pay to receive a bag that will hold 10 pounds of apples. Trees with apples that are ready to be picked will be flagged so you know which apples are ripe. Take the apples home, wash them gently, and keep them refrigerated to extend their freshness. We’ll see you at our farm starting on Saturday, August 5th through October while supply lasts!

(Gluten-Free!) Apple Crisp Recipe

Do you have a go-to apple recipe? This gluten-free apple crisp recipe from Cookie + Kate hits all of the high marks — including walnuts in the crumble topping. Bonus: All-natural sweetener and lemon juice really make it sing.

Click here for the recipe.

Come out to the orchard and get your organic apples for this crisp — we can’t wait to see you!

[Photo via Food52 and recipe from Cookie + Kate]

Our 1940s Planter & Corn Maze

The history and evolution of corn production can easily be found right here in Iowa. Many of today’s pieces of farm equipment would be unrecognizable to a farmer planting corn in the 1940s. But the 1940s is “now” at Wills Family Orchard when it comes to planting corn for our 2-acre corn maze!

We use a 1940’s John Deere pull-string two-row planter. It probably looks similar to that tractor decked out with flower pots on the front lawn of any one of the “real” corn and bean farms in the state. Yes, the two-row corn planter is an antique for most folks, but it is still a valuable piece of equipment in planting the annual corn maze at Wills Family Orchard!

Homemade Goodies

On top of fresh, tasty organic apples, organic peaches, and organic strawberries, we have baked goods, jams, pies, and more.

Check out our shop page and see all of the treats we have available. There’s even apple wine!

Interested in ordering our famous fresh-baked or frozen pies for a family gathering or work picnic? Just email us at info@willsfamilyorchard.com or call us at (515) 321-1847 and we’ll get you all set up.