Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

There’s still time to pick great pumpkins before Beggar’s Night and Halloween. Our 5 acres of u-pick pumpkins hold your perfect pumpkin!

The pumpkin patch and our on-farm store will be open:
Thursday, Oct. 26 from 3 – 6pm
Friday, Oct. 27 from 
10am – 6pm
Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9am – 5pm
Sunday, Oct. 29: Noon – 5pm

Our famous apple cider donuts and other great products, along with some of our fun fall activities (weather permitting) will be available this Saturday and Sunday! 

Apple & Pumpkin Festival Weekends

Our Apple & Pumpkin Festival weekends are here! Won’t you join us?

Festival Weekends in 2017
Hours: Saturdays: 9 am – 6 pm & Sundays: Noon – 6 pm

Saturday, September 23
Sunday, September 24

Saturday, September 30
Sunday, October 1

Saturday, October 7
Sunday, October 8

Saturday, October 14
Sunday, October 15

Saturday, October 21
Sunday, October 22

Fun Activities
For $5 (kiddos 2 and under are free!), you’ll be able to take part in all of the fall fun the farm has to offer: a corn maze, hay wagon rides, expanded kids play area (giant corn box, kiddie hay bale maze & duck races), toss games & live music on Sundays by RBJ Trio.  Plus, our friendly barnyard animals will be there to greet you.  Enjoy tasty homemade goods, and so much more!

Apple picking and pumpkin picking is open during festival weekends!  If you only want to pick apples or pumpkins or visit our store, there is no activity fee.  But why stop there when there’s so much to do at Wills Family Orchard!

Come on out to our farm — only 20 minutes west of the Des Moines metro!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

U-Pick Apples Available Now!

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.