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About Us

Minneopa Orchards is a boutique appointment-only orchard located in central Minnesota just west of the Twin Cities. We cater to hobbyist hard cider makers by providing unique and sought-after apple varieties ideal for making hard cider.

The orchard is run and maintained by me, Matt Cunningham, along with a few of my children, and is located a short walk from our home.

I can be reached at If you have specific question about a post please leave a comment on it post. Additionally, you can fill out our contact form.

You can find me talking about fishing on Instagram, or my professional profile on LinkedIn.

Minneopa Orchards is a boutique appointment-only orchard that caters to hobbyist hard cider makers by providing hard-to-find apple varieties ideal for making hard cider.

The Orchard

Our orchard was planted in 2018 and just hit first production in 2022. The orchard currently has about 65 trees with specialty varieties such as:

  • McIntosh
  • Harrison
  • Whitney Crab
  • Golden Russet
  • Orleans Antique
  • Newtown Pippin
  • Kingston Black
  • Ellis Bitter
  • Bramley
  • Roxbury Russet
  • Medaille d’Or
  • Franklin
  • Yarlington Mill
  • Ashmead’s Kernel
  • Foxwhelp
  • Cox Orange Pippin
Minneopa Orchard in the Spring – Full Bloom!

These trees are still young, and as such we have a limited quantity of apples available, which is why you’ll see “Out Of Stock” on most varieties throughout the year. Be sure to join our wait list for the latest information on availability.

Some of these trees are doing better than others of course. Golden Russet, Whitney Crab, and Harrison have done fantastic with our limited Kingston Black produced nicely (on very young trees) in 2022, but took a year off in 2023.

Additionally, we have three old yet-to-be-identified standard sized trees that produce exceptional cider, with our “Two Tree” cider earning a silver medal at the Minnesota State Fair in 2019. These trees produce well over 2000 pounds of apples each year, provide a great base for blending some of our more unique varieties.

We will continue to monitor progress of all varieties, and narrow them down to those that produce best for us, planting more of those varieties that thrive in our microclimate.

Our Story

I planted Minneopa Orchard in 2018 on land we acquired a couple years earlier.. A couple years later I began this website with my brother Ryan. He’s the website expert, but he’s run a number of backyard garden & orchard experiments himself!

Ryan and I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota and have memories of helping out with planting and harvesting from an early age. Now, with Minneopa Orchards, we have the chance to share the experience of growing your own food! My wife also grew up on a farm and has fond memories of picking and preserving foods from corn to beets to strawberries. We both got to know where food came from all through our childhoods.

In 2009 when my wife and I moved to the Minnesota countryside with our four children (now eight – and I’m going to be a grandpa soon!), I didn’t have to think twice. We tilled the ground to plant a garden and started planting apple trees.

We wanted to give our kids the same experience of being involved in growing produce and knowing where their food comes from. Eating your vegetables is a lot more exciting when you’ve planted them and watched them grow! Read more about our story.

The Minneopa Orchards Blog

In addition to the Minneopa Orchards hard cider apples, I’ve worked with our writing team to share our collective knowledge across a wide variety of fruit trees, vegetables, backyard living, tools, etc.

Here we teach our readers how to grow apple trees, how to start your own seeds, build greenhouses, and 100’s of other sustainable living practices.

What Our Readers Say

Wonderful article, much appreciated as I start converting my suburban lawn into a midwestern prairie with fruit trees and native plants!

-Steve G

Hi Matt – I enjoy your articles about fruit trees! Inn particular apple, as I have a small orchard with 72 trees and 21 different versions so I have many different problems and am plagued with CEDAR RUST…


Thank you for this ample, clear article! It is the very best I have found!
If I will start the seed growing process in warm weather, do I still need to go through the cold stratification process?


How We Make Money

We make money from the sale of hard cider apples and juice grown at Minneopa Orchards.

Additionally, we make money from advertising and affiliate marketing on this website.

We hope the ads you see here aren’t too intrusive, but they support the mission and allow us to share more gardening and fruit information.

When you click on a link to a product, we may earn a commission on the sale at no extra cost to you.

Share Our Passion

So why share all of this? Why open the family photo album?

Because this is our passion. And we want to share that passion with you!

Please consider joining our mailing list:




Other Fruits

Fruit Recipes

We have hundreds of fruit recipes for you to browse through, each one made and tested by our own recipe team. Check out all the delicious recipes here.

Apple Orchards in Your State

Looking for a fun apple orchard to spend the day at with your family, we have compiled lists of our picks for the best apple orchards in almost every state. You can check them all out here.

Let’s Avoid Confusion

NOTE: We are not the orchard named “Minnetonka Orchard” located in Minnetrista, MN. If you are looking for them, please go here: