Once upon a time there was a corn field. It stretched from Hamburg Avenue to Cedar Avenue south of Lakeville. In 1995 by the vision of owners Mark and Kathy Parranto it no longer grew corn but instead started being planted with apple trees. After years of visiting other orchards with their two sons Jon and Chris the idea was “wouldn’t it be nice to have a retirement hobby farm and grow some apples?” So the idea began as discussion while living suburban life in Eagan, MN. The discussion turned into planning with as much research as could be done before the full power of the internet. Planning eventually turned into action and an orchard began.
An investment was made in the form of John Deere tractor and a plot of land and in 1995 1,500 trees arrived(slightly beyond the scope of hobby farming). With a group of family and friends large enough to rival a professional sports franchise the planting began. Over the next few years the orchard grew from 1,500 infant trees to a few thousand and quickly the work became full time employment. Mark and Kathy spent their days tending to growing trees and growing boys(yes, they worked on the weekends too). Four years later in the fall of 1999 the doors opened to the public for apple sales. A wall was built to separate the equipment shop from the approximately 800 square foot store with one cash register and 5 varieties of apples available for sale.
From 1995 to the present day the orchard has grown to a new building with a store of over 2000 square feet of area, over 9,000 apple trees of 16 varieties and various related products available, and entertaining things for a quality family outing. A wood framed playground and hedge maze for our younger visitors, 25 acres of pick your own orchard for everyone, fresh grown pumpkins for the holidays and pie enthusiasts and in some years a corn maze of almost ten acres to get good and lost in. Not to mention the antique John Deere tractors for the hay rides around the orchard.
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Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
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Zvago St Anthony Park
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