Monday, September 20, 2010


A few questions have come up over the weekend and we hope this message helps you understand why we operate the way we do!

We are a you-pick orchard unlike any other in the world. We have over 1,500 trees of over 500 varieties of fruit that are harvestable from July through early November. We average 3 trees of any particular variety. This means that we don't necessarily have a large volume of any one variety that is available to be picked at any one time. There may be times where several varieties are ready to be harvested at the same time. Other times, there may not be any fruit ready for picking.

We determine how many hours we are open based on the availability of the harvestable fruit. The more fruit, the longer we stay open and/or the more days we are able to offer picking. There have been times where we are open for just one hour or eight hours. Again, it all depends on how much fruit is available to pick. There are also times were we may plan on being open for 4 hours and the night before we are hit with a bad storm and horrible winds that will drop the ripe fruit. We may have to close unexpectedly or reduce the hours we had planned to be open because of the damage to our supply. We have also had all of our peaches consumed by a heard of deer the night before we planned to be open for a big peach weekend and had to unexpectedly close for the weekend as there was nothing to pick. This is a very difficult business to be in as we can control neither the supply or the demand. We manage it the best we can.

We post on our picking report to the right that our hours are what they are or until picked out. This is because we cannot control how many apples each visitor picks while on our property, nor can we make more fruit available for picking. We are at the beck and call of Mother Nature and the trees. As a result, we may have to close early because there is no more fruit to pick. Unlike a retail store that has stock in the back room, when a tree runs out of fruit, we cannot "restock the shelves." Nor can we offer a "raincheck" because that tree will not produce more fruit in the current season.

If we plan on being open certain hours, and we have to hang the closed sign and place the Picked Out sign, it is because the harvestable apples are running low as they would all be picked by the visitors on the property at that time. However, we will have a conversation with anyone who pulls into the driveway after those signs are placed until we were scheduled to close to either allow them to visit the property and see the animals or to give them directions to other area orchards. We will not turn anyone away without the information they needed to make their experience a pleasant one. Everyone is always pleased with our willingness to direct them to other places where they can experience apple picking with their family if there is no more fruit to pick here or our willingness to let them remain on our property to experience the land and the animals and the pond and the maze as long as they are here and to come back another time for the fruit.

The volume of people here on Saturday 09/18/10 was not typical. We have learned that we were featured in an article that ran in several publications in Lawrence and Shawnee and a television spot that ran over the weekend as well as at least 5 magazines that we were unaware of until our visitors shared this with us. Many publications and news organizations get their information from the internet and do not ask our permission prior to publishing. There is nothing we can do about this since it is public information. It certainly does add to the volume of visitors. If you wish to avoid this crowd, you may certainly make an appointment to pick with your family anytime there is availability of fruit. This is clearly stated at the beginning of the picking report to the right as well! We do our best to accommodate as many people's schedules as possible in addition to opening to the public who wish to come at the times we can open to the public.

If you wonder why we do things the way we do, please let us know and we will post the answer here!

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Time Visitors!

If you are coming out to visit our orchard for the first time or just need a refresher, here are a few things you should know!


  • Our picking guideline is NO FLAG, NO PICK. We will identify trees with fruit ready for picking by tying a ribbon flag to the end of a branch. Please do not pick fruit from any other trees even if it looks ripe.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • We take cash and checks payable to Wagon Wheel Orchard.


  • There is only one entrance and exit to the orchard – this is the gravel drive located just to the south of the big Wagon Wheel Orchard sign. Please do not pull into any other gravel drives nearby as they are private property.
  • Parking does not open until the orchard opens. Please do not park or stop your vehicle on the 2-lane county road in front of our orchard waiting for us to open. If you arrive early, we ask that you drive around the block until we open the lot.
  • Park in front of the multi-colored flags in the gravel parking area first.
  • Parking is limited so please park to allow as many vehicles in as possible.
  • If the gravel parking area is full, you may park in the overflow grass lot designated by the multi-colored flags.
Hay Rack Rides:

  • The hay rack will be operating when we are properly staffed to take you to the fruit trees in the back, to tour the orchard, and to take you to the pond.
  • There is no guarantee that we will be operating the hay rack at any given time.
  • Please be prepared to walk to and from the back orchard (1/3 mile or about 7-10 minutes one way) if you don't want to wait. If you have children, we suggest you bring a wagon!

Gourd Maze:

  • 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.
The Trading Post:

  • The Trading Post will be open with our famous slushies, honey straws, & seasonal produce.
Porta Potty:

  • We have one porta-potty with hand sanitizer located in the front orchard by the parking.
Working Farm:

  • Equipment, implements and supplies may be laying about since we are a working farm. 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 have goats, chickens, ducks and catfish who all love to be fed...but please don't feed them apples!

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

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We've been robbed

Hey gang, if anyone ever wonders why you can't find any great pick-your-own places anymore here's a prime example. We had several essential machines stolen from our barn. These could have only been noticed by someone who had actually come out to see their location (and existence) close up. Stealing from a family that lets little children visit their farm every weekend is probably not the best move you could make Karma-wise.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We are excited to announce that we will be open again Friday night to take advantage of the cooler evening hours from 6:30pm to dark.

We will also open up for a few hours on Sunday afternoon from 2:00pm-6:00pm for families to head out for some holiday apple picking.

And on Monday, September 6, Labor Day, we will open from 10:00am to 2:00pm and will have hay rack rides and slushies!

Hope to see you all out here this holiday weekend!

Remember to check back here right before you head our way in case we have to make changes for availability or weather!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Hours Aug 28th and 29th 10-2

We will be open from 10am - 2pm both weekend days - picking Gala, Liberty, Early Winesap and some great cooking apples. Hope to see you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cool Evening Picking Hours This Week!

We are taking advantage of the cooler evening picking hours and will be opening up this week during the evenings! So come on our after work or even after dinner and enjoy the cooler evenings at the orchard!

We have a lot of fruit to pick including Gala apples at their peak of perfection, much sought after Honeycrisp apples, and the Liberty apples, our favorite organic-type apple! We also have delicious Bartlett, Ayers and Comice pears just waiting to be used in a summer salad or served with cottage cheese!

We will be picking
MONDAY 8/23-WEDNESDAY 8/25 & FRIDAY 8/27 from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

See you soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

This 10am-2pm!

We will be opening this weekend from 10am to 2pm both Saturday and Sunday this weekend to beat the heat! See you soon!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Open Sunday from 2 until 6

Because of the hotter lunch time hours we're moving up to 2pm for opening until 6pm Sunday August 15th. We are picking Sweet and Sour apples, Early Gala apples, Summer Rambo apples, and some baking apples. This excessive heat has changed some of the trees normal ripening dates so please follow this blog for updates.

Open from Noon until 4

We will be open at noon Saturday. Please come out and pick your own Blushing Star peaches, Sweet and Sour apples, Early Gala apples and cooking apples until 4pm. We had a terrific lightning show last night and some much needed rain. The storms have moved out and its shaping up to be a great weekend.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

By Appointment Only this Weekend!

Please call 913-893-6050 to schedule your appointment to pick Saturday, August 7th between 11am-4pm & Sunday, August 8th between 11am-4pm. If we don't get to your call right away, please leave a message with a number where you can be reached and the time you prefer to pick and we'll call you back to confirm. We will take 10 appointments per hour.

See the Picking Report to the right for what is available for picking!

We just flagged some white peaches...they are small but delicious! We still have many apples on our Sweet & Sour tree up front and a few Scarlet Surprise apples also!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Open Sunday Noon to 4

Thanks everyone for a very fun Saturday afternoon! Many peach slushies were consumed along with some drip down your chin peaches. We still some Scarlet Surprise, Sweet and Sour, and Statefair apples for Sunday. This will be your last chance to get the Red Haven peaches - the recent rains have made the remaining fruit larger than usual! We did have one tree of a red plum called Empress ripen up this weekend so - first come first served. As many of you know we have 550 fruit varieties so we will have all sorts of heirloom, antique, unique and obscure fruit through the season - please keep following our posts.

On a side note I've had many inquiries about the "Doris Greuel Peach" - they are about baseball sized right now and they are still rock hard. I'm sure based on their previous ripening that this year they will be their largest ever - we will have to prop branches fo sho. The Doris peach is our latest peach usually ripening up in late August. I'm expecting softball sized record breakers this year!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Last chance to get Scarlet Surprise apples

We will be open this Saturday from noon until 4pm. We are almost out of the red fleshed apple known as Bill's Red Flesh aka Scarlet Surprise. We will be picking the remainder of the Red Haven peaches as well. Don't worry, there are a dozen other peach varieties left to go this season including the nearly famous "Doris Greuel Peach" and the ginormous O'Henry peaches.

Rick and the kiddos will be taking out some apples and a tree or two for a feature to run this October on Fox 4 News. Many people still don't know that we actually sell the 550 varieties of fruit trees that we pick here at Wagon Wheel Orchard and this Sunday night feature will focus on this aspect of our family operation - more info to follow. We will have several potted antique apple trees and pear trees for sale at the trading post. 350 of the 550 varieties that we have were grown in Kansas over 100 years ago and many are nearly extinct - planting one of these trees in your back yard helps ensure their survival.

We've had several inquiries based on a now defunct website with old incorrect info - we accept check and cash only. They stoppped doing any maintenance on their website and our efforts to get it changed have been "fruitless" - pun completely intended.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Opening Day

Peach season is upon us! We're opening the orchard tomorrow at noon and we will be open until 4pm. We will open Sunday for the same hours if we have fruit left on the trees. Please note that its going to be a hot weekend - please dress accordingly. We welcome strollers and wagons if you want to pull the kiddos around the orchard. There will be bottled water and peach slushies available outside the barn. We've expanded our parking lot this year and like before the gate opens at exactly noon.

Here's what we're picking this weekend -

Red Haven peaches - juicy, drip down your chin sweetness, yellow flesh, freestone

Saturn peaches - small to medium, donut shaped, white flesh, very sweet

Statefair apples - large, crisp, sweet

Scarlet Surprise apples - medium sized, red fleshed, unique flavour

Please add your name and email to our customer list at the barn when you check out.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pick a Peck of Peaches!

It won't be long before peaches are ready for picking. Watch the picking report to the right find out when we will be opening later this month for peach picking! Remember, the picking report can change daily - even up to the minute, so always check it before heading out here! For example, on Monday, we may think the peaches will be ready on Saturday and post open hours for Saturday. But if we get no rain during the week, the peaches may need a little bit more time and we may have to change the days we open to the following week! Post here if you have any questions!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Custom Grafted Apple, Peach & Pear Trees, Scion Wood, Seedling Apple Trees & Choice Paw Paw Seeds

The end of custom grafting season is coming soon! Because of the cold weather that we have been having we are setting a tentative final date at March 25th. Below is a list of the trees we have at Wagon Wheel Orchard in 2010. The trees listed with an asterick are available in limited quantity and may be only available as a bench graft or potted tree - please list an alternate variety in your order. This list can also be used for ordering our scion wood – please email us at with your requests.

We would also love to swap scion wood for apple, peach and pear varieties we do not currently have. Our cherry orchard is full and we’re not adding any future varieties. We also have apricot, nectarine and plum trees on site and may offer scions in the future.

APPLES (grafted on M111, standard seedling or scion wood)

Adams Pearmain*
American Beauty
American Pippin*
American Summer*
Apricot Apple*
Arkansas Black spur type
Arkansas Sweet*
Arlles Red Flesh*
Ashmeads Kernel
Ashton Bitter*
Astrachan Red
Aunt Rachel
Autumn Pearmain*
Bailey Sweet*
Baldwin Red Flesh*
Belle de Boskoop
Ben Davis, Black
Bentley Sweet*
Benton Red*
Berner Rosen*
Black Gilliflower*
Black Oxford*
Blenheim Orange
Blue Pearmain*
Bramley's Seedling
Brown's Apple
Canada Reinette*
Canadian Strawberry*
Caney Fork Limbertwig*
Carter's Blue
Caville Blanc D'Hiver
Charles Ross*
Chenango Strawberry
Chisel Jersey*
Cinnamon Spice*
Clark of Kentucky*
Claygate Pearmain
Coe's Golden Drop*
Cole's Quince*
Cooper's Early White*
Cornish Gillflower
Cortland North Pole*
Court Pendu Plat
Cox Orange Pippin
Crimson Beauty*
Crimson King
Crimson Spire*
Cripps Pink*
Danvers Winter Sweet*
Delicious Red (original)*
Drap D'Or*
Duchess of Oldenburg
Dudley Winter*
Early Genitan*
Early Harvest
Early Joe*
Early Richmond Cherry
Early Ripe
Early Strawberry*
Egremont Russet
Ellis Bitter*
Emerald Spire*
Erwin Baur*
Esopus Spitzenburg
Etters Gold
F. McFarland Red Apple (from an old KS homestead)*
Fall Orange*
Fall Pippin*
Fletcher Sweet*
Fox Hill*
Fuji, Red Fuji*
Gala, Royal
Gala, Grand*
Garden Royal*
Gardner Apple (unknown from Madison)*
Golden Delicious
Golden Delicious Improved
Golden Pearmain
Golden Pippin*
Golden Reinette*
Golden Russet
Golden Sweet*
Grandma Greuel’s Crabapple
Granny Smith
Gray Pearmain*
Green Cheese*
Green Sweet*
Grimes Golden
Hale Haven
Hawkeye Delicious
Herrings Pippin
Hidden Rose
Hubbardston Nonesuch
Hudsons Golden Gem*
Hunt Russet
Itzstedter Apfel*
Jakes Seedling*
Jersey Sweet*
Jim Dandy*
Johnny Appleseed
Jonathan, Disease Resistant
Jonathan, Red
Kanipe Redflesh*
Kansas Black
Kerrys Irish Pippin*
Keswick Codlin*
Kids Orange Red*
King David
Kingston Black
Kinnards Choice
Knobbed Russet*
Lady Finger*
Lady's Sweeting*
Late Strawberry*
Lincolnville Russet*
Lodi (spur type)*
Maiden Blush
Mammoth Black Twig
Mays Apple*
McIntosh, Improved
McIntosh (spur type)*
McIntosh, Disease Resistant
McMahone White*
Medaille d'Or
Milo Gibson*
Minister Von Hammerstein*
Missouri Pippin (bears very young)
Monmouth Pippin*
Moore's Sweet*
Muscadet De Bernay*
New Brunswicker*
Newt Grindle*
Newtown Pippin
Niedzwetzkyana Crab*
Northern Spy
Nutting Bumpus*
Orange Sweet*
Orleans Reinette*
Ozark Gold*
Pink Pearl
Pitmaston Pineapple
Polly Eades
Pomme d'Or*
Pomme Gris
Porter's Perfection
pound sweet
Rawle's Janet
Red Apple #1 - Four Corners (unknown from an old Kansas homestead)*
Red Blaze*
Red Hook*
Red St. Lawrence*
Reinette Simarenko*
Rhode Island Greening
Ribston Pippin
Ross Nonpariel*
Roxbury Russet
Russell's Russet*
Saint Edmund's Pippin
Sam Young
Scarlet Surprise aka Bill’s Red
Scott Winter*
September Ruby*
Smoky Mountain Libertwig
Somerset of Maine*
Somerset Red Streak*
Sops of Wine
Spice of Old Virginia
Spoon Creek Amish (unknown)*
St. Lawrence*
Stayman Winesap
Stoke Red*
Striped Harvey*
Summer Banana
Summer Ladyfinger
Summer Rambo
Summer Sweet Paradise*
Sweet 16
Sweet Bough
Sweet Sal*
Tater House*
Tolman Sweet
Tompkins County King
Tremblett's Bitter
Twenty Ounce
Tydeman's Red*
Virginia Gold
Westfield Seek-No-Further
White Pearmain
White Pippin*
White Winter Pearmain*
Whitney Russet*
Williams Favorite*
Williams Pride*
Winter Banana
Wolf River 1881
Yarlington Mill
Yellow Bellflower*
Yellow Ingestrie*
Yellow Jay*
Yellow June*
Yellow Transparent*
York Imperial*
Zabergau Reinette*

CHERRY (scion wood only)

Black Tartarian
Emperor Francis
Royal Ann
Sandra Rose

PEACH (grafted on Lovell or scion wood)
La Feliciana
Red Haven

PEAR (grafted on Bartlett or scion wood)
F. McFarland Homestead*
Four Corners Homestead*
Harrows Delight*
Haunted House Pear (unknown)*
Jeanne d'Arc*
Madison Gardner Pear 01*
Madison Gardner Pear 02*
Olathe Lake Pear (unknown)*
Olympic Asian*
Warden Seckel*
White Doyenne*

Scion wood $4 each with no shipping charges (taxes included) and only a 8 stick minimum. Please contact us for volume discounts above 40 sticks. Sticks will be approx 10-12” long (if below that we will double at no charge).

Bench Grafts $9 each with no shipping charges (taxes included) and only a 7 tree minimum.

Please check local regulations before you request your trees, grafts or seeds. Please note that this a complete list of the varieties we have in our orchard and do not order any that are pattented.

Seedling Apple Trees

Our inventory of potted and bareroot grafts changes yearly but we almost always have some seedling apple trees in stock. Seedling apple trees are just like humans – all different. They have a mixed set of genes, tree size will range from 15 to 30 feet tall and they produce a fruit of variable quality. You could be getting the next Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Granny Smith but you could also get an apple only suited for hard cider or culinary use. So, if you’re up for a gamble one of these could be your tree. The public’s favorite apple tree in our 1,200 tree orchard is a seedling apple tree little Ricky named “Fresh Candy” – sorry, we only sell the fruit (we’re getting a plant patent on that one).

Seedling Apples - Potted $15 Bareroot $8

Paw Paw Seeds

For 2010 we are proud to introduce choice Paw Paw seeds. We have 15 acres of native Paw Paws and save seeds from only those trees which produce large fruit with a low seed count. We have stratified these seeds already so they will be ready to plant once the danger of frost has past. Please remember that these trees grow as an understory tree and will need partial shade for the first few years. They have a long tap root and do not do well in a container or transplant well. Plant these trees where they will be for good! Each tree will produce unique kidney shaped fruit (approx 2 to 5 per pound) that has a taste ranging from banana to mango custard. This was a favorite dessert of George Washington as well as most early settlers. The fruit does not ship or store well – pick and consume as soon as they resemble a ripe banana. You can freeze the fruit pulp to be used in culinary dishes later. We sell our excess fruit to The Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas that makes several special seasonal desserts with them including Paw Paw Ice Cream and Cheesecake.

Paw Paw Seeds – 2/$1 min (16/$8 order min. or no min. if combined with scion or bench graft orders) We can also supply bulk orders – email for details.

Please check local regulations before you request your trees, grafts or seeds. Please note that this a complete list of the varieties we have in our orchard and do not order any that are pattented.