Minnesota Harvest

| Friday, December 4, 2009

from flickr user Miss.Amber.Lane
Located off the beaten path, up the hill from today's modern U.S. Highway 169 on old highway 169 is Sponsel's Minnesota Harvest apple orchard near Jordan, MN. As I tweeted last week, though, the end seems to have come for the southwest Twin Cities orchard, with even the pictured barn which currently serves as a giant sign, for sale at auction. I've only been there once but this orchard, while needing repairs to its outdoor attractions, has tremendous potential.


Anonymous said...

Minnesota Harvest Orchard has been one of the Twin Cities most enjoyable family destinations for decades. It's a beautiful place with some of the best apples in all of Minnesota. It was originally built and run by Topper Sponsel - a wonderful, visionary man and terrific orchardist. Unfortunately, its decline to its current state, began after Topper's sudden and tragic passing in 2006. The orchard came under the management of other parties at that time.

Anonymous said...

Minnesota Harvest is a very special jewel, but it was taken over by people who didn't "love it" the way Topper did. He also loved every person who walked in the door. My hope is that the place will be resurrected under new people who will have a passion for it like Topper did and many of us.

Anonymous said...

I believe I may have bad news. My brother works for a city in that area and is up on the news. He said it was sold off to a developer a year or 2 ago. I believe Topper's daughters may have been running things until the developer needed the land. Last time I went the guy running the tractor ride to the orchard said most of the fruit since then had just fallen off and rotted on the ground because nobody cared if it was picked anymore. It's a shame. You just can't get an orchard back from development. At the very least I hope they save a few trees in the yards of the houses they are likely to build.