It all started quite small in the spring of 1990. I got this crazy idea to plant some apple trees, 100 that first year high on the hill overlooking Poquette Lake in the center of the farm! Lynn and I followed with a couple hundred trees each year afterward until we reached around 2300 trees.
By 2001 the trees had grown enough to produce a substantial crop. In the mean time we built a little store and packing house with a walkin cooler and apple sorter sizer. The trees set a full crop in the spring toward what was to be our best crop ever. Mother Nature had different plans. Around 8:20pm June 18th 2001 the Siren Tornado hit us and reached F-4 severity as it came thru our area, it destroyed 1700 apples trees, and leveled our store to the foundation. It also took the roof and windows out of our home, part of our barn and killed our horses. We came home that night to water running out of all the fixtures everything in the house was soaked, then the next morning at daylight we went to look at the orchard. We were so discouraged to see that a 15 minute storm had wiped out 10 years of hard work, we decided not to rebuild.
Well that wasn't what other people thought. We have a wonderful clientele of customers, including many elderly folks that treat us like family. In the next couple of weeks quite a few of these kind people showed up with $10, $20 or even $100 to tell us we could do this again. If in today's society you ever doubt humanity, come and talk to us we will restore your faith.
We had over 100 people a day for the first couple of weeks with chain saws, hammers, tractors, trucks, trailers and food showed up to help us with everything. At the same time a group of friends went to work in the orchard propping up about 400 trees that had survived and they are still producing apples today. Everything replaced and 11 years later we are in full production with 3200 trees. We have 26 varieties, we sell a good part of the crop in our country store. Our apples can also be found at Schmitz Economart in Spooner, and in other various local markets. We also do local farm to school programs.
We are fully involved with Spooner food pantry and Ruby's Pantry in Siren as we try to pay forward what we have received. We have a loyal customer following drawing in people from about a 75 mile radius.
We try to treat people well and hope they enjoy their experience whether they are 2 or 92. Smith's Apple Farm offers a full variety of apples (including honeycrisp) to suit a range of peoples needs whether its fresh eating, cooking, canning, drying or storing.
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