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Apple Works owner overcomes spring hardships and looks at future of farm

Posted at 2:25 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 18:44:34-04

TRAFALGAR — A longtime agritourism destination faces an uncertain future in Johnson County, but the owner of Apple Works is optimistic about the future of her beloved orchard.

Nestled in a quiet corner of Trafalgar, Apple Works took up roots off County Rd 250 back in 1989 and now bears fruit to more than 70 varieties of apples.

Owner Sarah Brown looks at her life's work over the past 30 plus years with pride.

"It took me a while to learn all my enemies," Brown said, who still runs the daily operations with her husband. "All the things I had to do produce a good crop of apples and I'm still learning."

Apples at Apple Works in Johnson County

And she says this spring was especially tough, between two devastating frosts that wiped out her crop, to the pandemic that kept customers away.

But through grit and determination, Apple Works is still busy as ever this fall season.

Brown was able to secure several varieties of apples from a friend who has an orchard in another region that was spared, and the farm is implementing safety procedures to keep guests safe.

Stop by the country store for a taste of made-from-scratch goods including fudge, apple pie, dumplings, and more. There is a picnic area where guests can relax by the waterfall, cool off in the gazebo, visit the farm animals or even take a tractor ride through the orchard.

Apple Works in Johnson County

PHOTOS | Apple Works in Trafalgar looks towards future

Now for sale, Apple Works remains busy while awaiting its next owners.

"I've seen the neighbor kids grow up and have their own kids and that makes me older than dirt, but it's been a joy," Brown said. "It's a labor of love and we are hoping that the next owners share that, you know, passion that we have here for the crop and the orchard."

The price tag is just over $3.5 million, and it includes 135 acres of land, the store, a full kitchen, 25 sprawling acres of orchard, three lakes, and room to grow.

In the past 5 years, Apple Works has raked in $1.25 million in annual sales.

Apple Works in Johnson County

To see all that Apple Works has to offer this fall, visit its website for hours and information.

To view the listing for the property, click here.

Other orchards and fall fun for your family around central Indiana:

Tuttle Orchard in Greefield

  • NO other areas are open until Sept. 19, 2020. Sunflower Trail is done for the season.
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm Closed Sunday. Open late til 7 on Thursday.
  • Apple Picking will not be open this year until Sep 19, 2020.
  • CLOSED Labor Day Monday
  • Reservations required for Saturdays Sept 19 - Oct 24
  • Expecting good pumpkin crop, check back for reservation requirements
  • No hayrides for 2020.
  • Curbside pickup available, mass required, and check Facebook for capacity requirements.

Adrian Orchards in Indianapolis
As a result of COVID-19, the owners were unable to entertain buyers for their orchard and are back open this season. The orchard has been around since 1925 on Indy's south side. They are known for their apples, peaches, and cider. It is also home to the Guinness World Record for the fastest apple picking.

Anderson Orchard, Mooresville

  • Fall hours 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Curbside pickup available
  • U-pick produce available
  • Orchard dash slated for Sept. 18

Stucky Farm Orchard and Cider Mill, Sheridan

  • In business for more than 50 years
  • Masks required by staff and guests
  • 37 varieties of apples
  • Kids play area with a large slide called Adevnture Acres
  • Home to popular sunflower experience

Beasley's Orchard, Danville

  • Just wrapped up their first sunflower festival, selling corn, mums, produce, and more
  • Fall festivals and events coming up