HISTORY OF THE FARM
In 1957 the Wilkens Family moved to Woodstock and started growing corn and soybeans. They did this successfully for 34 years. In 1989, James and Sue Hong purchased the land from the Wilkens family and their first apple trees were planted soon after. Unfortunately, these trees did not fare well so James decided to attend Kellogg Apple School at Michigan State University. Equipped with more knowledge, in 1993, the Hongs planted 3,000 apple trees and 4,000 more the following year. Their perseverance paid off as these trees flourished and created the foundation for the more than 15,000 apple tree orchard that you see now.
Today the orchard has grown to include a pumpkin patch, corn maze and various farm fun activities and amusements. Each year visitors stop by the orchard with their families and loved ones to create lasting memories together. It has been a privilege to welcome these visitors and we are honored to be a part of their family traditions. Former owner, Eleanor Wilkens, would visit the orchard every year and express her “joy to see this new generation use the land for various uses.”
WORKING WITH NATURE
We use agricultural practices that help our trees produce high quality apples while minimizing our impact on the environment. That includes implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles. IPM allow us to minimize spraying by strengthening the orchard ecosystem so that conditions are favorable for the apple trees and beneficial insects but unfavorable for pests. We also allow natural processes to replace chemicals whenever we can. For instance, if you have gone apple picking you may have noticed all the apples that fall to the ground. Some dropped apples are used for our apple canon but the vast majority are left on the ground to act as a natural fertilizer.
BENEFITS OF BUYING LOCAL
Many apples from the grocery store travel from another state or even overseas. This leaves a large carbon footprint. We’re proud that All Seasons apples are Illinois grown on-site in our orchard. Your trip to the orchard to buy direct supports a local farm and also produces far less carbon emissions compared to the fuel required to ship in an out-of-state or overseas apple.