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Continued: Family apple orchard grows from simple roadside stand to full 'agritainment' experience

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 24, 2013 - 3:57 PM

The Dekarskis also kept up on the latest and greatest new apple varieties coming out of the University of Minnesota. Nearly 80 percent of the orchard trees are Honeycrisp.

“That’s been kind of a game changer,” Mike Dekarski said. “You can’t run the business without Honeycrisp.”

Still, they grow 30 varieties, adding new types every year including some of the up and comers: Zestar! and SweeTango.

The Kahlers heard the Dekarskis were interested in selling and bought the orchard in 2011.

“I never knew I would be in the apple business,” Mary Kahler said as she toured the orchard in a golf cart. She stopped to check the ripeness of a row of tree, pulling a knife out of her pocket, slicing an apple open and examining the seeds.

Kahler, a ski instructor and mother turned farmer, is developing a finely honed palate for apple varieties. She describes the allure of the Honeycrisp: “It’s sweet and tart and firm, and it crunches in your mouth. It’s wonderful.”

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

 

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