6 miles west of Vesta on County Road 30, 1 mile north on County Road 8, Vesta, MN. 507-762-3131. www.holmbergorchard.com
Free admission. Free parking. Stroller accessible. Restroom available. Concessions available (dates/hours vary).
This ended up being our third annual trip to the Holmberg Orchard, and we weren’t disappointed. We first went two years ago on a weekday, just for apples, and last year joined an ECFE field trip to the orchard. This year we stopped because it was on our way to Walnut Grove and I was hoping to buy a few more Honeycrisp apples since we were driving by.
We arrived at the orchard just after it opened at 10 a.m. and were the first car in the parking lot. The kids played in the boats filled with corn, and then we bought a few squash and found our apples. The boys noticed the sign for hayrides to the pumpking patch, but I explained that the hayrides (per the sign) didn’t start until 11:00, and it was only 10:20. The proprietor asked if the kids wanted rides and promptly found someone to take us, so we had a private ride through the orchard to the huge pumpkin patch. The kids each chose a pumpkin and we headed back and paid for them. By this time, the kids noticed that they were setting up for pony rides, and the lunch stand opened at 11 a.m., so we stuck around a while longer so we could have lunch and pony rides before leaving.
Bottom line: the early hayride netted the orchard an additional $31 in sales (pumpkins, lunch, and pony rides) and made the day a lot more fun for the kids. It’s nice to visit a business that is so accommodating to its customers!