I am the second generation to purchase apples and peaches from the “Apple House” and the Laurelville Fruit Farm. This article was excerpted from my blog, “Hocking Hills Visitors Guide”. Since it is fall, it seemsed appropriate to re-issue it for all those who missed it the first time.
One of the past issues of “Country Living” magazine, which is the official publication of my electric coop, had an article in their August 2014 issue by Damaine Vanada about the Laurelville Fruit Company. I will share some of the facts that I never knew about the Laurelville Fruit Company.
George Bowers purchased 30 acres in 1911 north of Laurelville and planted apple trees on it and sold them locally at the “Apple House”. He and his son Robert Bowers planted 1000’s more apple and peach trees and made apple cider as well. Robert, Jr. began running the business in 1980 and introduced cider slushies. I had one in October when I bought some apples – it as very cold, icy and delicious.
This orchard has become a family tradition because my parents made sure to stop and buy apples or peaches every time they were in Laurelville. The apples, peaches, cider and slushies have become so popular that many people drive the extra miles to get these tasty home-grown specialties.
I just studied this spring and became an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist for the Hocking Hills region and we did study the geology of the area. When Robert Bowers, Jr. makes the statement that “the Hocking Hills were unglaciated and the soil is fertile. Apples just taste better here and so do the peaches” he is making a true statement about the Hocking Hills. And I can attest to the taste factor. I am and always will be a loyal customer.
When the weather cooperates they grow three varieties of peaches, 20 different kinds of apples including Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Winesap and Melrose which is the tasty state apple of Ohio. Grandpa’s original 1925 cider press is still used to make some of the best apple cider around. According to this article apples will be in the Apple House on August 1st. I can’t wait!
The Laurelville Fruit Company is located at 16181 Pike Street in Laurelville – actually they are right on Route 56 that goes through the middle of town. They are open August 1st through December 24th from 8 am to 5 pm daily. For more information call 740-332-2621. Also, you can check out the Hocking Hills Tourism Association’s Laurelville location. It is the log cabin right next to the Apple House. You can pick up a visitor’s guide and maps for the state parks while you are there. Then it is just another nine miles to South Bloomingville and four more miles to Ash Cave State Park which is my favorite park in the Hocking Hills. Next time you are in the area don’t miss this favorite place of mine which is definitely an “Ohio Icon” in my book!
Laurelville Fruit Farm Apple List
|Apple Varieties We Grow||Description||Typically Ripens|
|Braeburn||sweet, eating, salads||End of October|
|Cameo||sweet, crisp, eating||End of October|
|Cortland||tart, baking, eating||Middle of September|
|Fuji||sweet, crisp, eating||End of October|
|Gala||sweet, eating, salads||End of August|
|Golden Delicious||sweet, eating, baking||First of October|
|Golden Supreme||sweet, eating, baking||First of September|
|Granny Smith||tart, baking, eating||End of October|
|Honeycrisp||sweet, crisp, eating||First of September|
|Jonagold||tangy, eating, baking||End of September|
|Jonathan||tart, baking, eating||Middle of September|
|Lodi||sour, pies, applesauce||Middle of July|
|McIntosh||tart, baking, eating||Middle of September|
|Melrose||sweet, eating, baking||End of October|
|Mutsu/Crispin||tangy, eating, baking||Middle of October|
|Paulared||tart, baking, eating||Middle of August|
|Pink Lady||tart, baking, eating||End of October|
|Red Delicious||sweet, eating, salads||First of October|
|Rome||baking, mild flavor||Middle of October|
|Staymen Winesap||tart, baking, eating||End of October|
Please check the farm’s website for specific information.