Rami has been growing apples for 15 years. At first, managing an IPM pick-your-own operation and for the last four years, running his own certified organic farm. He has a 3.5 acre high density orchard of apples, pears and stone fruit. Rami’s key goal of running an orchard business is growing delicious fruit efficiently. He has served on the board of OFGA since 2015.
John and his wife Brooke have been growing apples and other tree fruit since 2011. John started out in the fruit world by revitalizing a very old 2-acre apple orchard near New Ulm. Since then, John and Brooke have have expanded their operation by planting their home site with trees and now managing another orchard near Lake Crystal, MN, with a focus on apples but also pears, apricots and plum. The Knisley's have incorporated livestock into their operation since starting to make the orchard a more holistic farming system. Their farm has been certified organic since 2014.
Sam Kedem owns and operates Sam Kedem Nursey & Garden. Established in 1996, the farm became certified organic in 2006. The farm offers an extended season of pick your own and picked strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, apples, plums, cherries, pears and vegetables, and also features a diverse farm store. Sam is one of our newest board members, he was elected unanimously in February of 2019 during our annual meeting. His wife Rachel is an incredibly generous volunteer and is OFGA's treasurer.
Don owns and operates Albrecht's Nursery & Orchard LLC in Chippewa Falls, WI. He grew up on a dairy farm, and an added chore in the spring time was planting trees. In the late 1980's he got his start in apples as a picker, utilizing a tractor, wagon, ladders and bushel boxes. Late nights were spent sorting and bagging apples for local store deliveries and flea markets. Today, he owns an orchard in one location and a tree nursery in another. His goal is developing and increasing diversity of supporting plants in and amongst his fruit trees and increasing the amount of calories produced per acre. He has served on the OFGA Board since 2015 and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Dan and his wife Danielle own Stone Creek Farm in Shafer Minnesota. They provide the local community with organically grown tree fruits and have many research projects going, including a sustainable way to grow peaches in zone 4a, researching dwarfing pear rootstock and developing sweet pit apricots as a potential nut crop in the upper Midwest. Dan is also a member of Land Stewardship Project, North America Fruit Explorers and the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Association. Dan can be reached at Grafted73@gmail.com.
Stone Creek Farm
Liz and her family own and operate Door Creek Orchard. Her parents, Tom and Gretchen, founded the orchard in 1984 with the goal of providing diverse, sustainably grown fruit to their community. Liz has been managing the orchard since 2013. The farm is 80 acres with about 9 currently planted in apples, grapes, and pears. The rest of the farm is actively managed woodland, prairie, and marsh which creates a healthy, diverse ecosystem that contributes directly to growing low-input fruit. Black Welsh Mountain sheep were also incorporated into the farm in 2001 in an effort to further enhance the farm ecosystem. Fruit, fresh cider, wool, and honey are sold primarily in the on-farm shop or pick-your-own. While currently an “ecologically advanced IPM” orchard, Liz hopes to bring the orchard further into holistic management. She also hopes to continue the farm’s focus on educating consumers about the flavors and benefits of unknown varieties and sustainably grown fruit. The orchard is also a member of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association and The Holistic Orchard Network. #eatuglyapples!