MORE THAN DELICIOUS ORCHARD

 

Mike & Emily Lazar

Mike & Velma Downes

9905 Thompson Road

Woodstock, IL  60098

(815) 575-9650

morethandeliciousorchard@gmail.com

Update for Sunday, September 26th

 

PLEASE READ...THE ORCHARD WILL BE CLOSING FOR U-PICK AT NOON TODAY.  WE WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR PURCHASING READY PICKED FRUIT UNTIL 5, BUT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO PICK NEED TO BE AT THE ORCHARD THIS MORNING.  THERE AREN'T ENOUGH APPLES ON THE TREES TO TAKE A FULL DAY OF PICKING.  WE APOLOGIZE, BUT WE'D RATHER YOUR EXPERIENCE BE A GOOD ONE WITH LOTS OF APPLES TO CHOOSE FROM INSTEAD OF SCRAPING AROUND TRYING TO FILL YOUR BAG.

 

Update on September 15, 2010

 

The season keeps advancing at a rapid pace.  This weekend, Sept. 18-19, we will label for picking:

Connell Red

IdaRed

Golden Delicious (Just beginning to ripen—look for yellow apples with a pink blush.  Next week they will be even better.)

 

Also available are limited quantities of:

Red Delicious

Jonathan

Cortland

Snow Apples

 

If you would like to make applesauce, we have windfalls for half price.

 

HoneyCrisp and Lustre Elstar are sold out.

 

Update on September 9, 2010

 

It’s hard to believe, but this weekend approaches the halfway point of our picking schedule.  2010 is a challenging year as apples continue to ripen early.  This weekend, Sept. 11-12, we will be picking some beautiful Gala, Jonathan, and Cortland.  We are labeling Red Delicious and Snow Apples for picking, but they will be better the following week.  We have a limited supply of Cox’s Orange Pippin, Macoun, and Haralson.

 

Weekend of September 3rd, 2010

We will be open Sat. and Sun., Sept. 4-5.  We will be closed Labor Day, Sept. 6.

As you come to the orchard this weekend, think PEARS!!  We have a nice crop of pre-picked pears that will be available in our sales room.  The pears, like the apples, are ripening approximately 2 weeks early this year.

 

Apple varieties available for picking will be Lustre Elstar, McIntosh, Gala, Sweet 16, Jonathan.

While they last, we will have a limited quantity of pre-picked HoneyCrisp available in our sales room.

Weekend of August 28th, 2010

We are ready for apple picking this weekend, Aug. 28 & 29!  Ribbons are on the trees that are ripe and ready for picking:  Gala, Lustre Elstar, McIntosh, Pound Sweet, Jonathan, & Sweet Sixteen.

 

Summer Update at More Than Delicious Orchard

 

Have you seen the August issue of Chicago Magazine? It features the Best of Chicago in 83 categories. More Than Delicious Orchard was their choice for best u-pick orchard in Chicagoland. Chick it out on page 103 in the August edition. As soon as we have permission, we will put a link to the article on our web site. The only criticism Chicago Magazine had was our lack of cider doughnuts. We are working to provide both cider and doughnuts this fall.

 

End of July update: The apple crop continues to look good, although the numbers are somewhat smaller than last year's record harvest. The apples are starting to gain some size, and the very beneficial rains this past week will hasten their growth over the next month.

 

Our honey supplier told us this week that his bees have produced twice the honey that they did last year. He is submitting his honey, as well as his honeycomb, to the McHenry County Fair August 4-8, and we fully expect that once again he will win a blue ribbon.

 

Our August update will include our picking schedule. We expect to open the weekend after Labor Day -- Saturday, September 11th.

 

Enjoy the rest of the summer. We'll see you in September and October.

 

Mike & Velma Downes

 

Spring Update at More Than Delicious Orchard

 

June 14, 2010

 

This is the last week of spring, a good time for an orchard update.

 

We have come through the risk of early spring frosts in fairly good shape.  We suspect, however, that on at least one of the days that we had frost warnings, some of our blossoms got nipped.  It appears to us that our fruit set is less than we would have expected from the size of the bloom.  We knew that after last year's huge crop, this year's crop would be smaller.  The bad news is that we are estimating 30% to 50% fewer apples than last year.  The good news is that the apples this year will be larger and more flavorful.  As apple growers we look forward to a much easier job thinning the apples in late June.

 

The early-season apples, such as Wealthy, Paula Red, Gravenstein, and Early Blaze, are non-existent this year.  Empire, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Lustre Elstar, Jonathan, Gala, and McIntosh appear to have a substantial crop.  As the summer progresses, we will send another update, and also a preview of our picking schedule for Fall 2010.

 

Have a great summer!

 

 

April 9, 2010

 

Those of you who visited our orchard last fall may have realized that you were looking at one of the best apple crops in history in northern Illinois.  It was certainly our most bountiful crop, and in visiting with other orchardists in the neighborhood, it was a great year for them too.  After harvest we took a couple of months off to enjoy the holidays, then we started pruning the orchard in early January.  Dave and Mike just finished this past week pruning 500 apple and pear trees is a big job and needs to be done every winter. 

 

The exciting news at the orchard this spring is that we are planting 24 new apple trees.  The trees arrived today, and we plan to get them in the ground in the next two to three days.  We are adding some of our customer's favorites:  Spitzenburg, Hudson's Golden Gem, and HoneyCrisp.  We are also adding some new varieties such as SnowSweet, Pink Lady, Rebella, and Karmijn de Sonnaville.  We enjoy planting and growing different varieties, and are always thrilled to see our customers experience the taste and pleasure of a new apple variety.

 

Early indications are that we will have another good apple and pear crop for Fall 2010.  Right now the blossoms are at a stage called tight cluster.  In a week or two we should be in full bloom, the critical time that will either make or break the season.  Keep your fingers crossed that we have good pollination and no freezes during blossom time.

 

Have a wonderful summer.  We look forward to seeing you during this fall's harvest.

 

Mike & Velma Downes

Dave Woodruff


 

Click here for some articles on the health benefits of apples and pears! (Last addition, Sept. 17, 2007)

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