Applecrest Orchards was originally a farmstead dating to the late 1800 ²s. You can still see very old apple trees next to the house, including unknown varieties. In the 1980 ²s the farm was used for raising cattle, and the prior owner converted his land to an apple orchard in 1992. He planted nine of his ten acres with 1300 large trees hoping to grow big, beautiful apples, and built an apple store to sell them once they began bearing fruit in the late 1990 ²s. David and Amanda Graetzer purchased the orchard in 2003 in the middle of harvest season, with a desire for the experience of growing apples. Farmers' markets were added in 2005 as production increased with the trees becoming more mature. We added beekeeping and IPM (Integrated Pest Management) in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in the mid 2000's. IPM monitors weather (heat as measured in degree days and leaf wetness) and bug presence (sticky traps with pheromones), and recommends spraying only when at risk for losing more than 5% of the crop. The goal of IPM is to mitigate pest damage while protecting human health, the environment and economic viability.
Our values include land stewardship, such as seeking out best practices in orchard management; educating youth and adults about the care of apple trees and honeybees, and the importance of pollinators; actively participating in the local, farm-fresh food movement; providing employment opportunities for local families to work together on our farm and markets; and being a welcoming gathering place in our neighborhood
David and Amanda are members of MN Grown, Minnesota Apple Grower's Association, and the Minnesota Hobby Beekeeping Association.