Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘apple butter’

Smucker’s Creates Memorable Meals and Moments

With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good!

Smucker's horse drawn wagon

J.M. Smucker used a horse and cart to deliver apple butter when he started in 1897.

Trees planted by Johnny Appleseed became the source of apples for Jerome Monroe Smucker back in 1897. This farmer from Orville, Ohio built a cider mill to press fresh apple cider. It wasn’t long after that when Jerome sold his first jar of apple butter from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. The J.M. Smucker’s Company was formed.

 

Smucker's Entrance

Smucker’s entrance is lined with an apple orchard since that’s where it all began.

   Their early jams and jellies are still popular today even though their list of products has been greatly expanded. Family run for four generations, today more than 7000 employees carry on that fine early tradition in more than 30 locations across North America.

 

Smucker's Pollination Garden

During the summer, you can walk through their pollination garden.

   Smucker’s archway highlights their history as you enter. On the left-hand side is an apple orchard so fitting for someone who started the company from apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed. In the summertime, they have a Pollination Garden for the incredible bees to get their nectar for the production of fruit.

 

Smucker's Jam Chandelier

This chandelier made of jelly jars hangs from the open rafters.

   The building even takes you back to those early years as the high open rafters show that it is all wood pegged. No nails were used in construction, much as those early settlers did long ago.

 

J.M. Smucker on apple bin

J.M. proudly stands on his bins of apples as he makes his proclamation.

   A small pictorial museum tells the history of JM Smucker from its beginning. It shows the changes that have been made to make it the present day company. A display of glasses that were used for canning Smucker’s over the years brought back memories of mom saving jelly jars for our drinking glasses at home. That could have been because someone broke a lot of glasses.

 

Smucker's overview

Capture the Christmas Spirit when you enter their Showcase Store.

   The company’s main purpose is to bring families together to share memorable meals and moments. The Smucker’s store has only been around since 1999. This Showcase Store displays all the brands that Smucker’s now makes, which has really expanded since their humble beginning. “Quality first and sales will follow” was the slogan of Willard Smucker.

 

Smucker's Sample Station with Denise

Not sure which flavor to buy?  Denise will help you at the Sample Station.

   Jams and jellies still rank at the top of the favorites list. If you see something you would like to taste, take an unopened jar to the Sample Table, where they most likely already have a jar of that opened for tasting. It’s a great place to make comparisons between brands. Smucker’s claims they are the only brand of jam that can make a slice of bread lively!

 

Smucker's Danilynn and peanut butter

Smucker’s Danimarie explains all the varieties of peanut butter they make.

   Every month has great specials in their store. When I visited, it was Peanut Butter Month where you could sample several different brands of peanut butter that they produce for different companies. My final decision was a jar of Smucker’s Peanut Butter. Creamy, my choice!

 

Smucker's Memorable Moments

Have someone’s picture placed on a label at their Memorable Moments station.

   Another special place is a spot called Memorable Moments. Here you can have your picture taken, or download a picture from your phone, and have it placed on the label of a jar of jam, jelly or peanut butter. How cute to have a child’s picture on his favorite jar of peanut butter!

 

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Buy gifts for your dog or cat as well – made by Smucker’s.

   Surprisingly, they also make snacks for dogs and cats. Find treats like Milk-Bone or Meow Mix as a treat for your furry friend when you get home from shopping.

 

Smucker's Cafe

Here’s a great place to stop for a snack while shopping.

   Take a break at their Smucker’s Cafe where the bake an oven brick pizza while you wait. Or if you want to try something new, they make a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich that they say is delicious. Prices were very reasonable and products quite tasty.

Smucker's Sundae Shoppe

Make your own sundae at the Sundae Shoppe with a variety of toppings available.

 

Smucker's Gift Baskets

Check out their great gift baskets for every occasion.

   Smucker’s is a great place to shop for Christmas or any time of the year. They have beautiful gift baskets that you can purchase, or they will make one according to your wishes. Visit their festive store in Orrville, Ohio during the Christmas season or any time of the year.

 

Smucker's Store

Smucker’s Showroom features all their brands all year long.

   In every jar from Smucker’s, there’s more than you see. There are memories, smiles and love shared by people who make it.

Smucker’s is located west of I-77 in Orrville, Ohio on Route 57 just a quarter mile north of Route 30. Their headquarters is located at 1 Strawberry Lane.

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Find a Taste of Fall at Hillcrest Orchard of Walnut Creek

Hillcrest applesSurely the apple is the noblest of fruits.

~Henry David Thoreau~

Apple cider becomes a favorite drink during autumn, and apples are ranked number one in the top ten healthiest foods. So harvest time felt perfect for a trip to Hillcrest Orchard of Walnut Creek to get fresh apples and cider. Rain or shine, this is a bustling place in the fall.

Hillcrest front

   With over 20,000 bushels of apples this year, they have over twenty varieties from which to choose. Two customer favorites are Golden Delicious and Honey Crisp, my personal choice. Their newest variety is now available – Evercrisp, a combination of Honey Crisp and Fuji.

   Hillcrest Orchard has been in the family since 1968. Today Merle and Lela Hershberger own and operate the orchard with help from their children. Their grandfather, Jacob Hershberger, still helps out as often as possible.

Hillcrest view from overlook

An overview features their orchard and beautiful Mud Valley.

   With over 75 acres of apple trees and 5 acres of peach trees, the Hershberger family works all year round. When the new year begins in January, it’s time to trim trees and remove a block of old trees.

   Then in April, it’s planting time each year for approximately 4,000 dwarf trees – most of them being apple. Luckily, they have a tree transplanter, which is pulled behind a tractor. They can sit on the transplanter and drop in the new trees three feet apart. With this method, they can plant over 1,500 trees in one day.

   There’s always work to be done. After planting trees, the trunks are hand wrapped with wire to keep them straight. Trellises, holding two wires that go through the trees, keep the branches from hanging to the ground. During the summer months, the apples need to be thinned on each tree. An apple tree cannot be too full of apples for best production.

Hillcrest Apple sorter

Matt Hershberger often runs the apple sorter.

   In the fall when picking begins, some extra help is needed from young people in the community. All the apples are hand-picked from ladders. That is one of the reasons they switched to dwarf apple trees so they could more easily be reached.

Hillcrest Cidermill

Mark Hershberger and his son, Adam, explain the cider press.

   Fresh pressed apple cider is made at their business operation every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During October they make 4,000 gallons each week. One Friday/Saturday last year they sold 2,250 gallons.

Hillcrest Sample

A free sample of fresh apple cider tasted refreshing.

   Their cider is unpasteurized so it’s placed immediately in a cooling tank. That also means that it’s only good for about two weeks. Be sure to get a free sample while visiting.

Hillcrest Vinegar

There are many uses for apple cider vinegar.

   Whatever cider isn’t sold is placed into wooden barrels for one year. There it becomes apple cider vinegar, which is also available at their store.

Hillcrest Apple butter

Their fresh apple butter was a popular item.

   However, apples and their products aren’t the only things on hand. Hillcrest Orchard’s the perfect place to find organic fruits and vegetables while in season. Their products look picture perfect. You can also buy pumpkins, mums, baled hay or straw. You’ll be surprised at all the treats available.

Hillcrest Kettle Corn

In the parking lot, Hostetler Kettle Corn provides an extra treat.

   Outside during the fall months, you’ll enjoy the flavor of Hostetler Kettle Corn. Freshly popped in the lot, the smell draws you to their tent. Pick up a bag to munch on while driving home through beautiful Amish country.

   The children and grandchildren feel part of the business as they have grown up in the orchard and store. Hopefully, those youngsters will someday continue providing apples and peaches for all to enjoy.

Hillcrest Welcome

Bags of fresh apples greet you – The First Taste of Fall.

   Merle’s son, Mark, lists pressing cider and picking apples as his favorite chores. When asked what he’d like to do in the future, his answer, “Plant more trees.” What do these hard-working young men like to do for fun? Deer hunt! There’s evidence of that around their store with several deer head mounts.

Hillcrest Cider Sign   Hillcrest Orchard is open from July through April. It has even become a requested stop for tour buses. Many people make an annual visit there in the fall and some stop by often to pick up fresh produce. One man said he took the cider home and froze it in small containers so he could have fresh tasting cider for months to come.

Hillcrest Check out

Area young people help out during their busiest season – September and October.

   Stop by the orchard and pick up some apples straight from the tree. Apples can be enjoyed in so many different ways: apple pie, applesauce, apple butter, apple crisp, dipped in caramel, or just take a bite of a fresh, juicy one. However you decide to use the apples, they will taste delicious.

   Remember, apples are also healthy, so that old adage of ‘an apple a day’ is a good rule to follow. Stop at Hillcrest Orchard of Walnut Creek on your next trip to Amish Country and experience the fresh taste of fall.

Hillcrest Orchard of Walnut Creek can be reached off I-77 at Exit 83. Go left on OH 39W until you reach 515. Turn right at the light, then go straight back about a half mile to the Orchard on the right. 

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