Southwind Orchards

45440 Co. Rd. 12
Dakota, MN 55925

507-643-6255

History

Southwind Orchards was started in 1946 in Dakota, Minnesota by the Wilke Bros. of Winona and Minneapolis. They bought a number of farms in the area and were able to put together 1000 acres of land connected together. They planted 160 acres to apple trees with a large amount being the Beacon variety, which ripens in August and early September. In 1954 they build their first cold storage. At the same time they started the Apple Orchards. The Wilkes developed a herd of White Face Hereford cattle. The farm became on of the leading farms in breeding White Face Herefords when they purchased a bull named Eaton Drummer. Drummer was transported from England to the United States by ship and then to Southwind Orchards by train.

For many years Southwind was known for the best of cattle and apples in several states. Southwind Orchards was awarded a lifetime membership in the American Beef Cattle Performance Registry Association for developing an excellent breeding herd of cattle. In 1971 the Wilkes sold Southwind Orchards to the Hechter family of Bloomington, MN. In 1992 he brought in new management to renovate the old orchards to new varieties using modern culture practices. Today Southwind Orchards continues to grow in production of apples. New varieties and a few good old stand-by varieties of apples are all grown on dwarf rootstock. We have a large cold storage and a retail store. We are partners in the Mississippi Valley Fruit Packers, and members of Minnesota Grown and Minnesota Apple Growers Association. Our goal is to deliver to our customers the best possible quality at a competitive price.

We invite you to come and enjoy the beauty of our ponds and the scenic location on Apple Blossom Drive.

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