Edwards Orchard the best place to visit for Fall country enjoyment
A perfect getaway from the violence and murders that define Chicago’s dysfunction and danger is a trip to the countryside. One of the best destinations in the Fall is Edwards Orchard, a 90 minute but worthwhile drive from Chicago’s violence epicenter to the serenity of Poplar Grove, Illinois in Boone County. The 100 acre orchard has apples, pumpkins and every kind of berry, plus an array of preserves of every kind you can think of and need to enjoy life.
By Ray Hanania
One thing I don’t do is risk my family’s lives to go into dangerous Chicago anymore. As much as there are some great businesses there, most need to leave the gang violence and dangers that continue to grow under the failed leadership fo Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the best propaganda efforts to gloss over everything by the Chicago news media.
There are plenty of alternatives. As Summer turns to Fall, and your mind races away from he daily reports of Chicago murders, drug deals and race driven polarization, you can find some really good ones. One of the best is Edwards Orchard — often called Edwards Apple Farm — in Boone County in Poplar Grove, Illinois, 7061 Centerville Road.
This is true country living and aromatic enjoyment. It’s only 90 minutes from the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago and from the besieged neighborhoods of Chicago and its an enjoyable ride. The place is beautiful. Fresh air. Great smells from the produce showcased there. And real antiques that offer an insight for most, and maybe a reminder for some, about how the world used to be so satisfying, calm and safe.
Edwards Orchard offers 100 acres of apple trees, pumpkins, squash, mums, and berries. They have 50,000 apple trees and grow over 30 apple varieties. You can go apple and berry picking, or you can pursue the country store which offers hundreds of different kids of bottled harvested products including salsas, donuts, pies and fudge. You don’t need to do the work to preserve anything. They will do it for you. And, if you have never tasted Apple Butter, you are missing out and have been living a sheltered, denied life.
The story of Edwards Orchard is traditional and heartfelt, told on their website at www.EdwardsOrchard.farm. The website also offers country advice on how to manage your foods, preserves and berries.
“Before there were apple trees at Edwards Orchard, there were dairy cows. During the Dust Bowl of 1930, Bob Sr. and Audrey Edwards lost their Minnesota farm and returned home to Rockford. Eventually they were able to purchase their own farm on Centerville Rd., where they milked cows for 25 years. … In 1964, their son Bob showed interest in purchasing the farm to grow apples, something he and his wife Betty had been dreaming about. That spring they planted the first apple trees. As the trees grew, Bob and Betty’s 5 children helped with all of the orchard chores. Their first crop — only a few bushels of apples — they sold from a hayrack in the front yard.”
You can pick your own apples, pumpkins and berries and never bump into anyone, although the Orchard has huge fan base draw.
You can relax and enjoy some country pleasures like apple pie, berry preserves and products, and home made donuts, and a variety of sides. They have jelly jams, Carmel apples, salsa and chips, mustards, honey, fruit preserves including peaces, apples and more, syrups, cashew brittles, glazes of all sorts, honey and salad dressings, all farm grown locally and fresh.
The Apple Barn and Cider Cellar are open daily from 9:00am-6:00pm. They even have a Drive-Thru for those most vulnerable to today’s COVID world pandemic. The drive thru is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9:00am-6:00pm. Apple picking hours are from 9:00am-5:30pm everyday.
And they practice COVID social distancing and the wearing of face masks so its even safer for the family and fun.
Here are some photos that I hope you enjoy from my recent trip there.
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