Fireside Orchard and Gardens is located about 40 minutes due south of Minneapolis, just east of I-35 on Highway 19, also known as Lonsdale Blvd. This is a gorgeous orchard just outside Northfield, Minnesota, with several varieties of apples available, as well as apple products such as pies for sale.
The orchard and garden are a family-friendly treasure where you can go and spend time relaxing in addition to purchasing fruit. This family-run orchard has continually added more apple varieties and likes to showcase those varieties created by the University of Minnesota.
If you want to have a nice day out with friends or family, especially your kids, Fireside Orchard and Gardens is a wonderful place to be.
The History of the Orchard
Fireside itself was started in 1971 by Robert Harvey. In 1985, Harvey and his family bought a cornfield outside Northfield and moved the Fireside orchard, eventually expanding it into over 40 acres of trees. Harvey’s sons Todd and Doug also help run the orchard.
The family members are definite fans of apples, and in 1998, Judy Harvey even contributed an apple crisp recipe to a regional cookbook.
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What Apples Are Grown There?
The number of apple varieties grown at the orchard varies but has been growing in general. Most of the apples are from the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program, which created such stars as the Honeycrisp. You’ll find the Honeycrisp along with the Honeygold, Regent, Fireside, Keepsake, Haralson, and more.
If you’ve got a particular apple you hope to buy but don’t see it listed on the orchard’s website, give the orchard a call to see if they have any plans to plant and grow that variety in the future.
Stop by the Store for Scrumptious Pies and More
A major feature of the orchard is, of course, the store, and you can go in person or shop online. You’ll find apples in two forms: bagged premium (“extra fancy”) apples and loose apples that you choose yourself but that may have some minor blemishes.
You’ll also find pies, cider, fudge, caramels, soup mixes, pickles, popcorn, sauerkraut, apple butter, muffin mixes, cheese, sodas, jellies and jams, and much more. You can easily pick up all the ingredients you need for an impromptu meal or stock up on foods for when it’s colder and you don’t want to go out.
And if you’re actually starting to feel a little over-appled, the flavors of jams, muffins, and other products include pumpkin, pomegranate, raspberry, and other fruits. You can get savory items such as garlic-flavored cheese, bacon ketchup, and dilly beans.
A Day in the Garden
So you’ve purchased your apples and pie and caramels – is that it? Did you drive out to the orchard just for that? There’s plenty more to do at the orchard than just buy things.
There are gardens on the property, as the name suggests, including a pond with benches nestled among greenery and a lovely rose garden complete with a pavilion. There’s also a lawn, if you’d like to play games, and other perennial plants for you to enjoy.
The Harveys specifically added these locations to give customers a nice place to sit, relax, and even have a picnic. The gardens have even been the site of weddings, and for those who like quirky family photos, there are two antique tractors onsite that have been refurbished.
Grab some cider and pie and enjoy a breezy autumn afternoon surrounded by the scents of apples and roses – you’ll remember that day forever.
A Farmer’s Market Autumn Mainstay
Late summer to mid-autumn is a terrific time for people who don’t want to go to the orchard itself but would like to buy some of its apples. Fireside sells their own produce at the Minneapolis Farmers Market between mid-August and early November.
In 2021, the Fireside booth is at the Lyndale location of the market, which is open daily in the mornings.
COVID Response and Curbside Pick-up
Fireside has been proactive about protecting customers and staff during the pandemic. Policies can change quickly, but in general, employees do wear masks (and it helps if customers do, too), and the company encourages keeping some distance between people. You now have the option to buy items online and pick them up through contactless curbside delivery.
If you have any questions, either about purchasing products or changing COVID restrictions, you can call the store.
Fireside Orchard and Gardens is more than just a place to see an apple tree and buy some fruit. This is a place where families can go for an affordable day out and be surrounded by lovely trees and flowers while chatting, eating, and playing. A visit to the orchard has become a tradition for many families, and there is always room for more.
Where To Find Fireside Orchard and Gardens
If you’ve never been to Fireside Orchard and Gardens, why not pay them a visit this fall? You may find a new destination that you’ll want to make part of your fall activities each year.
Address: 2225 Lonsdale Blvd. East (highway 19), Northfield, MN 55057
Phone (General Questions): 507-663-1376
Phone (Events Coordinator): 323-671-6114