It all started with the want of a garden! Lin Deardorff, "the dirt guy" has not always been the amazing apple-whisperer he is today. In his first career, he was a successful business man in the field of commercial real estate. All that changed in 1980 when he and his wife Bonnie moved their growing family of five children from the big city to a place in the country...where Bonnie could have the garden she longed for.
Lin's second career is apple farming, which he has been doing since 1982. More recently, since 2005, he has added grape growing and has a partnership in an award-winning winery on our farm.
Over the past 35 years, their family has grown to include 5 kids, 13 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren who love the family farm. Their little garden in the country has grown into a successful Minnesota agri-tourism business nestled on 125 rolling acres of pristine land near Lake Waconia, Carver Park Reserve and Parley Lake. This land includes 20 acres of apple trees and seven acres of vineyards.
Waconia, MN is 30 miles SW of Minneapolis, which has a metropolitan population of 3 million.
Our farm has 120 acres, and 4,000 apple trees, including these varieties: Honeycrisp, SweeTango, Haralson, McIntosh, Honeygold, Sweet 16, Regent and Fireside.
We include a total farm experience of pick-your-own apples, hayrides through the orchards, petting zoo, and fresh cider pressing. Our historic 1888 barn is full of fresh local products for sale including apple pies, pumpkins, jam, honey, produce, and gift items. Many local kids enjoy the farm experience by coming for a tour. This season we will be hosting over 1,600 students from local preschools and elementary schools.
We share our beautiful apple barn space with the Tasting Room of our partner business, Parley Lake Winery. This business grew out of friendship and the love of wine. Lin Deardorff is the grower and his partner, Steve Zeller, is the winemaker. Lin likes to refer to himself as “the dirt guy.” He loves farming!