May 18, 2017

#Blog #Events #Family #Outdoors

As you venture a few miles east of Idalou, lines of apple and peach trees break up the landscape along US-62. In the summer months, fresh fruit hangs off the branches and show the year-round efforts of the Crawford family at The Orchard.

From apple picking to hayrides, The Orchard offers it all for visitors to the “Hub City” who don’t mind a short drive from Lubbock’s city limits. Thousands of trees offer plenty of fruit for anyone to pick and enjoy.

Not only is The Orchard the lone certified-organic apple orchard in the Lubbock area, but no other apple orchard in the state of Texas can also call itself organic.

“When you eat an apple straight from a tree, it’s different than an apple you’d get at a store,” said Tanya Crawford, co-owner of The Orchard. “There’s the true freshness of it.”

The best time of year to pick the 18 varieties of apples at The Orchard is from late August to early October, Crawford said. Although small buds can be found on branches in May, the apples are visibly approaching by July.

While The Orchard — formerly known as Apple Country Orchard before it was purchased by the Crawfords — might be mostly known for its apples, the Crawford family also sells peaches, raw honey, baked goods and more at their store. The Orchard’s owners also can be found at the Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market from June to October.

The importance and health benefits of eating locally grown food, like apples or honey, cannot be understated, Crawford said. Apples are rich in antioxidants and fiber; not to mention, raw honey contains numerous vitamins. Food grown in the Lubbock area will be much more fresh by the time it reaches the dinner table than what can be found in many grocery stores.

In addition to being a family-run business, The Orchard is also family-oriented and frequently hosts schoolchildren and families on tours. The Orchard is rapidly growing, Crawford said, but its focus will remain on families.

The Orchard’s most popular event is the 23rd Annual Apple Butter Festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22nd and Sunday, Sept. 23rd. Children who are 3 years old or younger can attend for free, and admission costs $6 for anyone 4 years old and up. Parking is always free!

Whether you visit during the dog days of summer or as the West Texas sun cools down in the fall, The Orchard will be there to offer some of the best local fruit.

Fast Facts:

Where: The Orchard: 12206 US-62, Idalou, Texas

Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday


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