"We just wanted a fresh apple with a crunch!" Fed up with the mushiness of supermarket fruit, mom and dad grabbed the kids and, along with the rest of the family, traveled to an out-of-state apple orchard to pick tree-ripened fruit in the fall of 2008. They picked countless bags that trip and in the spring of 2009, planted 12 trees on their family farm in Miami County.
Realizing there were few local orchards around the metro area, the family began to ponder the idea of planting their own orchard. That summer, they ran across an article in the New York Times' archives about the "Apple King of Kansas", an orchardist with land in Miami County who, at the turn of the twentieth century, was "the most extensive commercial orchardist in the United States." After reading this, the family thought the time was right to bring Kansas apples back home. Sunflower Orchards was born.
That fall, the family planted 200 apple trees followed by 200 peach trees the next spring. The fever had officially set in. In 2012 the family began work on the next section of the orchard. Designed with "the family" in mind, ranging from the very young to the young at heart, the u-pick section currently has over 6,600 feet of trees on high density plantings. The family also added 15,000 square feet of thornless blackberries on a revolutionary trellis system and installed an orchard wide irrigation system. At last count the orchard had over 2,150 trees: 24 apple varieties and 26 peach varieties with more o
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