Monday, July 21, 2008

Our first visitors!

We were so thrilled to welcome the Dwyer family of Gardner, KS as our very first visitors on opening day! They were here a few minutes early and got to watch our grand opening "ceremony"! They also got to pick the very first peaches! Thank you for sharing our special day with us! We know how long you have been waiting for that fresh fruit!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thank you to everyone who visited on opening day!

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to open Wagon Wheel Orchard to the public!

It brought tears to our eyes to have Rick's grandma hang that open sign. She was so proud!

We had great weather and great customers! It was so nice to greet everyone who came to visit. We love getting to know the people who are enjoying the fruit from our trees. The peach and cherry cider slushies were a hit as were the honey straws and the Prairie Fire BBQ!

We are working hard now to irrigate the rest of the peach trees so they will be ready to pick in a couple of weeks! Keep checking back for highlights from our opening day as we prepare to open for the rest of the peach harvest! Happy trails!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Whacha need to know before you come out!

If you are coming out tomorrow to help us celebrate our GRAND OPENING, here are a few things you should know!
  • We only have a very limited quantity of peaches available for picking on Sunday, 07/13.
  • Picking 101 - the proper way to pick tree fruit is to twist gently and lift up - do not pull down on the fruit or you will damage the fruit and the tree.
  • We take cash and checks payable to Wagon Wheel Orchard.
  • Parking is limited so please park to allow as many vehicles in as possible.
  • The Trading-Post shop will be open whether there is fruit for picking or not.
  • We'll have hay rack rides to tour the orchard.
  • Prairie Fire BBQ will have combo meals and a la carte items available from 10am-1pm.
  • We do have a porta-potty with hand sanitizer.
  • You may wish to bring bug spray and sun screen.
  • If you have little ones, you may want to bring a wagon.
  • We are a "working" farm. Equipment, implements and supplies may be laying about. Please do not disturb.
  • We do have neighbors and ask that you respect their privacy and property.
  • Enjoy watching the horses on the neighboring property. Please do not feed them. They do not belong to us and are not ours to feed.
  • We will identify trees with fruit ready for picking by tying a ribbon to the end of a branch. Please do not pick fruit from any other trees even if it might look ripe.
  • Many of our trees and plants are very young. To keep them safe and healthy so you can enjoy picking from them in the future, please do not touch them unless you have been taken there to pick.
  • Enjoy the gourd maze during your tour of the back orchard but please do not touch any plant growing at the base of the maze walls - these are the gourd plants that give the gourd maze its name.
  • Our chickens are for laying eggs. We are supporting the older ones in their quest to become ugliest chicken at the JoCo Fair. There is nothing wrong with them, they are just molting and are supposed to look that way.

We appreciate all of your continued support as we work to create a fun, family-friendly orchard!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Prairie Fire BBQ will be cookin' up some grub on Sunday!

We are excited to announce that the award-winning Prairie Fire BBQ will be cookin' up some grub for our opening day! Jim Savage will be grillin' up some hot dogs with chips and pickles wagon train style! Choose a combo meal or get your favorites a la carte! Come and get your grub from 10:00am to 1:00pm while the fire's hot!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We hang the OPEN sign on Sunday, July 13th at 10:00am!

We built the frame for our rather large sign and installed it today! There is still a little tweaking to do but it is in the ground! Rick's grandma, Mrs. Charles Greuel, from Macomb, IL is in town and will hang the OPEN sign for the very first time on Sunday, July 13th at 10:00am!

We are still hoping that the peaches will be ready to pick! If they aren't quite ready, we are still going to celebrate opening our orchard to the public! We'll have hay rack rides touring the orchard every 30 minutes, slushies, eggs, herbs, our own From the Farm dip, cobbler & crisp mixes & several other goodies in the Trading Post shop. You'll be able to wind your way through the newly planted apple-shaped gourd maze and feed the goats, chickens, ducks, and catfish!

This all started many years ago when Rick’s Great Uncle William Essex developed the famed Fulton County (Illinois) apple in 1847. Rick’s grandparents, Charles & Doris Greuel, established an Illinois farmstead and apple orchard in the 1940s. Charles built and operated The Wagon Wheel Trading Post just outside of Macomb, IL, which Doris still runs today. So it just makes sense that she hang the OPEN sign on this Wagon Wheel!

We've had another busy week getting ready! We'll post more about all of the activity in the coming week and of course, we'll keep our eye on the peaches! We've added a picking report to the top right of this page so you'll know how things are lookin'!