With school back in session, families have to plan what to do with their beautiful Northwest Indiana weekends. For some lucky people, they chose to visit Garwood Orchards in La Porte for their Apple Festival.
The annual two-day Apple Festival hosted many intricate arts and crafts vendors as well as live music from the band Middle Of The Road. Guests were also seen picking fresh apples and other produce like red raspberries, blackberries and peppers.
“We came last year for the crafts and music and we had the best time,” said Sharon Wellman of La Porte. “I love the fresh apples, and the family friendly atmosphere. It’s just fun to get outside with the whole family”.
While guests to the festival stood patiently in line, tractor after tractor could be seen carting apple pickers out to the fields. Jerry Garwood has been driving these tractors for twelve years and enjoys the little things about the job.
“There’s a lot to do around here, people really enjoy the arts and crafts,” he said. “I like talking to the guests as I drive, many have returned every year for generations.”
The Orchard itself has been operating for around 150 years, and the Apple Festival has become a tradition to Garwood, returning annually for the past 30 years.
“While we do send our apples across the country, it’s important to me that we get the families to come here and have the farm experience,” said Carey Garwood, owner of Garwood Orchard.
“People come from across the region for the Apple Festival, and it grows every year,” she said. “The apple you pick is a piece of our family, so it’s nice to give that back to the community”.
The festival opened at 9am and saw hundreds of attendees, but Carey wasn’t surprised.
“We get a lot of people coming back every year, but it is also neat to see all the new people as the Festival continues to get more popular.”
“This beautiful weather doesn't hurt either,” she joked.
The Garwood Orchard Apple Festival will return next year, but patrons can still visit Garwood every weekend throughout fall for live music, apple picking, tractor and horse wagon rides, and delicious homemade food from their market.
For more information on Garwood Orchards, click here.