ABOUT MAIDEN ROCK APPLES
Herdie Baisden and Carol Wiersma planted their first apple trees in 2000. Located on an 80-acre farm, their orchard is designed to serve the retail market. So far, they have about 25 varieties, including Zestar, Senshu, Liberty, and Honeycrisp, planted on mostly dwarfing rootstocks, especially G.16 and Bud 9.
In 2003, they planted 1,000 "sleeping-eye" Honeycrisp/Bud 9, along with another 500 Honeycrisp/G.16 and 500 Honeycrisp/Bud 9 trees. These blocks (4 x 15 feet) like most others are trained to a vertical axe. The farm has a rich, silt-loam soil that held moisture even during a recent drought. Herdie, a director and vice-president of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, is also a member of the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association (IDFTA); Carol serves as a director for the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association.
Committed to producing high quality fruits and vegetables in an environmentally friendly manner, Herdie points out, “Maiden Rock Apples leverages biodiversity and combines organic techniques with limited and carefully targeted spray programs in our use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)”. Raptor perches, owl nesting boxes, bat houses and even bumble bee houses are strategically placed in the orchard to encourage natural predators. Flowers and other plantings to attract beneficial insects (and people) are also included in their approach to growing apples.
While they grow over 25 varieties-both new and heirloom-they have about 2,200 Honeycrisp trees that produce more than 50 percent of all the apples at the farm. “We bring to market the varieties our customers demand,” Herdie said. “And our customers are not just looking for high quality apples, they want an enjoyable experience.” That is one of the reasons why Herdie and Carol use “pick-your-own” as their primary marketing method. “This allows our guests to have the pleasure of harvesting their own apples as well as other produce such as pumpkins and squash.”
Maiden Rock Apples, Stockholm, Wisconsin
Site brought to you by: M-Vision Web Design