About the Orchard
Orchard owner Dr. Dwain Merickel first planted apple trees in 1970 at his family's farm in the southern Minnesota hill country. Over the years, his orchard grew into a retirement project with a few hundred trees, and then into a successful business in the 1990's. Irish Mountain Orchard now has two apple orchards and thousands of trees and transitioned to a u-pick orchard in 2022.
Original apple varieties planted included Fireside/Connel Red, Regent, Haralson, and Sweet 16, with both Fireside and Haralson still grown today. When Honeycrisp apples were released from the University of Minnesota in 1991, we were one of the first orchards in Minnesota to plant them. Since the first few trees began to bear fruit, our commitment to Honeycrisp has grown to include thousands of trees, and our customers love them!
Zestar! trees were planted on a large scale during the 2000's, and along with Honeycrisp, served as the primary apple in our orchard expansion project. Many people who love Honeycrisp, but want apples sooner in the season, choose Zestar for their apple fix in late summer.