Multi-Faceted Tuttle Orchards!Last week the Fortville Mama kiddos and I got to spend some time with Ruth Ann Roney (Farm Store and Activities Manager) at Tuttle Orchards in Hancock County, and oh what a great visit it was!
|Ruth Ann with the Fortville Mama kiddos|
Ruth Ann is a 4th generation Tuttle and her love for orchard and farm shines through in all she does and says. Little man loved asking her questions about the house next to the farm and the bees (he's a dive deep kind of investigative reporter). He had always wondered about the little white house that sits to the side of the farm store. He said he knew it must be special. He was excited to hear Ruth Ann tell him that the house was Roy Tuttle's boyhood home and was built in the 1800s!
He also wanted to know about the bees. During each and every visit to the farm in the fall we always have to visit the bees. He and his sister are always captivated by the bee observation station. They love to search for the queen bee. He was sad that the bees are "vacationing" for the summer and won't be back until fall. The environment on the farm during summer isn't ideal for them, so their beekeeper comes and takes them and then brings them back right before the fall season. However, he enjoyed hearing Ruth Ann explain how important the bees are to the farm in helping pollinate apples, pumpkins and other veggies.
For more on the fall activities at Tuttle Orchards, visit our post from September 2013 here.
The thing we were most curious to talk to Ruth Ann about is summer activities at Tuttle Orchards and she didn't disappoint. We kicked off our discussions with a taste test of their delicious strawberry smoothie! Yum! Right now they have the most delish strawberries fresh in from Indiana and Kentucky farms (Tuttle Orchards doesn't currently have their own patch). Tuttle Orchards are known far and wide for their smoothies - strawberry, peach and apple! Always so refreshing and always with fresh seasonal fruit! You'll have to get ya one!
With strawberries the star of the season right now, Tuttle Orchards, has a fun event coming up just in time for Father's Day this weekend! You can bring your Dad to the farm this Saturday 11-3p.m. for fun on the farm, including sampling, jam making, games, crafts, a scavenger hunt and of course strawberry treats! Dads are sure to have a good old fashioned fun time on the farm!
As for the rest of the summer, depending on peach supply in late July there may be peach treats available. Keep watch on their social media so you can be sure to head out for a peach smoothie! August will feature a special u-pick veggie day, where Tuttle employees will be on-hand to guide visitors on how to correctly harvest veggies such as sweet corn, green beans, cucumbers and more. This special event includes a hayride to and from the fields. Great hands-on learning for families!
Other than those events, the farm store is open year round with lots of great local products featured. I love that you can always visit their website and see what's at the farm store today. Let's you see what's local, fresh and in the store right now before you head out to shop! Ruth Ann advised that they always try to source as much as they can locally. Yeah! Nothing like local fresh!
I so adore a good back story and Tuttle Orchard's has just that. I wonder if Roy Tuttle knew how amazing the farm would be as it grew and how many families it would touch. Amazing that he started in the 1920s with 20 acres and growing apples commercially when all his neighbors had their own trees in their own backyards. They probably thought, what the heck is he doing?! He first sold them for processing in Chicago for things like applesauce and vinegar. Then eventually out of his pick-up truck each fall and as the 1950s came local grocery stores and schools. In the 1960s the farm store was born with happy customers traveling out to Hancock County for bushels and half bushels of Tuttle's famous apples. And oh what an amazing farm experience they have become today! I can't wait to see what co-owners (and brothers) Tom and Mike Roney do next on the farm! Thanks for letting the Fortville Mama crew visit! We had a blast!