"Where Memories Grow"
We have 25 acres with 1,712 apple trees in 12 different varieties including Honeycrisp, Haralsons, our heritage variety of Northern Greening, which is over 200 years old and so tarte it puts the granny smith to shame, as well newer varieties like Kindercrisp and Zestar.
According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, statistically the number one reason that people visit an orchard is for an experience. There are about 45 thousand people in the area however there is very little for family entertainment. When Noma was raising her three kids in the area, it was hard to find affordable family entertainment and ended up often driving several hours away just for a day of kid - friendly entertainment, which ends up not being very affordable in the long run.
We know that Timberland Hills can fill that gap that currently exists. We currently have a puppet theater, a 16 foot long chalk wall, a playground, outside games like horseshoes and cornhole and a Hay Ride that takes our visitors to the top of our hill to overlook the valley. and we have dreams for SO MUCH MORE!
Our company motto is "Where Memories Grow" because we know that you will want to come back every year to make more memories with us.
My Family is the Best:
Timberland Hills Orchard is a family-owned business run by three siblings, Noma, Rugga and April, our spouses and children.
Noma and her husband Ron are the tree experts, and they manage the grounds. Ron also fixes all things mechanical and without him we wouldn't have an orchard.
Rugga and his wife Tara have a passion for baking they bake everything from scratch in our site bakery.
April manages the front of the house as well as all the paperwork and finances.
Since we are a farm, we are able to put our kids to work and many hands help make light work. Our teenagers prune trees in the winter, mow the lawn in the summer, make cider and some help the cash register in the fall. Our younger kids help by picking apples and cleaning our store, and we have another generation growing up right now to help in the future.
It is like a big family reunion every weekend in the fall and we enjoy all of our families together so that others can enjoy time with their families. The only reason that we were able to buy this orchard was because as a family we were able to support one another's dreams and find a way to full-fill everyone goals.
Highlight of the season for many of our neighbors:
Before we officially opened last fall, we had dozens of customers stop by on the weekends while we were there to ask if we were open. Since we were there already we invited everyone to come inside and test taste many of the baked goods that we were going to offer during our season. All of those visitors returned many times throughout the season. Our neighbors love us and count down the days until they can come visit officially.
I have had customers tell me that they remember coming to our orchard when they were kids in the 90's and are now coming with their own children.
We also have a large client base of people whose lake cabins are nearby, and they have driven hours to get to us. About 40% of our clients live over 2 hours away. They stalk up on goodies before reaching their final destinations.
Most of customers keep coming back because we are the entertainment in our rural community and we want to provide more reasons to come back, and more memories for them to make.
Connections in our Community:
We have connections to many local businesses like String Theory Cider, a local Hard Cider brewery who we partner with for our cider press, as well as many of vendors for merchandise like cards that are made from a grandmother and granddaughter duo.
We host many field trips and in the words of one of google reviews we have "set (it) up tremendously for little kids. A hayride, time to color on the chalkboard then pick out their own Apple wash and throw it down in the grinder for cider. A playground to keep some of the kids busy and an outgoing staff."
We want to keep our business local so buy our bushels of straw from a farm literally down the street from us. Our waste from the cider press gets ground up and turned into local horse feed for really anyone who comes and asks for it. We have given it away to several customers. We know that businesses cannot thrive without a community and we want not only be a part of our community but to build it up.
Eco-Friendly works and Dreams:
As farmers we know the importance of taking care of our earth so that it will take care of us and we strive to live a Green life. Currently we boast 12 solar panels and we compost our waste, but our dreams are so much bigger than that.
This year we are purchasing two bee colonies, and we have to make sure that our practices to help our trees, also help our bees.
Someday, we want our building to have geothermal heating and a Greywater system. I want our field trips to involve more teaching moments on how to run an eco-friendly farm.