The venerable orchard, now well-past the 50-year mark, opens today under a recent change in ownership and a renewed commitment to sharing the natural taste and nutrition of home-grown apples with consumers.
Lisa Rettinger purchased the orchard last fall from Gabriel and Elaine Godfrey, who had operated it more than five decades.
This is our first real season, Rettinger, an Antigo native who spent recent years in St. Paul, Minn., said. We are transitioning to all organic apples, with no synthetic chemicals.
The orchard opens with a variety of pre-picked and limited pick-your-own varieties available, including Oriole, Beacon, Duchess, Redfree and Paula Red.
There will be more varieties next week, Rettinger said.
Also available are a mix of locally produced products such as maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies along with crafts.
We strive to carry products made here or in the surrounding area, Rettinger said. I’m absolutely focused on offering things that are produced locally.
The transition to organic is welcomed by increasingly savvy consumers who want to know details of how their foods are produced, with Rettinger noting that people are getting to be more interested in health and more aware and careful about the things they eat.
But the learning curve has been interesting.
Rettinger said she is pleased that her first-season crop comes in an off year, common among orchards after a bumper 2015.
I made maybe 800 mistakes this year but I’m figuring i;lt out, she said of the switch to organics. You really don’t know until you do it. I’m very grateful for the help. People have been wonderful about that.
Seasonal fall hours are Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The orchard is located east of Antigo at the corner of Highway F and Orchard Road.
Lisa Rettinger prepares the welcome sign at Grandview Orchard Friday afternoon.