Thursday, August 14, 2014

Apples, Peaches, Plums and MiniGolf

On a recent Saturday afternoon, my sweetie and I took a quick drive up highway 99, north of Emporia, to The Orchard.  We picked some peaches, then played some miniature golf on the coolest native stone mini golf course you've ever seen.  It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.

Bob and Elaine Karr grow more than 30 varieties of apples (800 trees!), 8 varieties of peaches (100 trees), as well as several types of Japanese plums and pie cherries. 

With this much variety, there's always something ready to pick from late May through October.  This year it's been a solid three months of peaches alone!

Despite this summer's drought and high heat, Bob kept the fruit coming on strong all summer by irrigating.

Even this late in the season, there are two peach varieties still picking. 
The ones we got recently wereoutstanding!

All the trees are pruned to a perfect height for easy picking. 

When picking peaches, be careful not to SQUEEZE, just give them a gentle tug - if they come off in your hand, they're ripe and ready!

Just look at these beauties!  YUM!!!

Apples have been coming in well for over a month now, with new varieties ripening each week.  With 30+ varieties to choose from, there truly is something for everyone!

Bob is a regular at several area farmers markets, including the Lyndon FM on Mondays, the Morris County FM on Tuesdays, the Emporia FM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the Americus FM on Fridays.

Occassionally, he or Jon get up to the Cottin's Hardware FM in Lawrence on Thursdays, and/or one of the many FMs in Topeka when they have the time.

Another attraction of the place is farm pup Gracie.  A real sweetie. She guided us through the miniature golf course.

The handsome guy with Gracie is Steven (Doc) Graham - my husband of 23 years.

The golf course is a real Flint Hills treasure - all 18 holes are lined with native stone.  

Some of the rocks are local, and others have been recycled from stone buildings that have gone into various states of disrepair.

Jon Karr (Bob & Elaine's son) purchased them from landholders all over the state, and has used them to build a truly unique and special golf course.

It's only $3 to play 18 holes. 
Give it a try - it's a blast!

Many of the rocks have well-preserved fossils.

And some even have hand-carved figures, relics of the buildings from which they came.  

Does anybody out there know what those symbols on the left mean?  
Please share if you do!  Jon's really curious about it!
Kinda looks like a bird's head, or maybe a human eye, with three linked olympic-type rings below..  It's a puzzle!

While we played, we got buzzed by an ultralight aircraft.  

One of the Karrs' neighbors flies over on a fairly regular basis.

Miss Gracie does her part around the place by helping with the weeding...

... and 
entertaining the guests.

Tom, Rachel and Payton Andrews were there for a sunset round.   

It looked like they were 
having a great time!

The Orchard Farm Store and golf course is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 8 pm; and Sunday, 1-8 pm.

It's at 1128 N. Hwy 99, just east of where 99 makes that 90 degree turn from NS to EW, just 8 miles north of Emporia.

To see what's new at The Orchard, check out their facebook page.

On warm days, get yourself an icy cold cider slush.
On cold days (yes - some day it will be cold again), you can get a hot cider.  
So it's always a great day at Karr's Orchard!

Do come check out the golf course, and pick up some fresh fruit, cider, honey, Alma Cheese, and/or the other wonderful goods available in the little country store at The Orchard. 

Gracie's waiting for ya...
With her kitteh...
She wuvs her kitteh...

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