A local orchard is staying in touch with its rich history while keeping up with growing demands and current trends.
Battleview Orchards has been providing area residents and visitors with fresh produce and homemade treats for over 100 years. The orchard originally opened as a general farm in 1904.
Today, Battleview Orchards has grown to a 120-acre farm that houses a retail market and a vast “Pick-Your-Own” business that allows patrons to personally select their own strawberries in the spring, sour cherries, peaches and nectarines in the summer, and apples and pumpkins in the fall.
Fourth generation Battleview owners Scott and Lisa Applegate met in high school, dated all through college, and married in 1989. Now the couple runs the orchard and country store, which is open all year round. They are both present in the business on a daily basis, actively working side by side with their employees.
The fall is the orchards’ busiest season, according to Applegate. The apple orchard suffered a little this year due to a frost in May and a hail storm in July. However, the pumpkins fared well despite the substandard weather conditions and there are plenty of pumpkins for the picking in the patches scattered throughout the orchard.
“People come here to have fun,” Applegate said. “It’s rewarding to hear their giggles and laughs because it makes it worth it for you as a business owner to know that you are creating their memories, whether they come here once, or they come here every year.”
This is the second year that the farm has also grown and sold tomatoes and sweet corn - a venture which has proven to be fruitful for the Applegates. Besides selling their own produce, the country store also sells an assortment of fresh produce, candy, jams, mums, pumpkins, tea, fall decorations and more. Apple cider is also freshly pressed on the premises and sold in the store.
Additionally, the country store has an on-site bakery where pies, cakes, muffins, breads, cookies, and cupcakes are made fresh daily. The most popular baked item at the store are the apple cider donuts, Applegate said. People have been known to line up for nearly two hours waiting to feast on hot apple cider donuts that are available through a to-go window.
Last winter Battleview purchased a new donut machine that works twice as fast as their old one, according to Applegate.
“We want customers to come and have fun, not stand in line for two hours,” Applegate said. “I’d rather you get your donuts and sit and be a family for two hours.” And the new donut machine has certainly made that possible as it is churning out more pounds of donuts at a faster rate.
Battleview also attracts patrons with education. By offering guided tours through the orchard, the cider barn, and the store, customers get a behind the scenes look at how the orchard operates. Younger children on the tours are also taught about how the farm operates and about the growth cycle of fruit.
Whether you come to Battleview for its donuts, its produce, or to "Pick-Your-Own" favorite crop, customers needs continue to be met with a traditional old-time feel.