Irish Mountain Orchard gets passed down to next generation

After over 50 years of one generation running Irish Mountain Orchard, another generation takes control.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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ELYSIAN, Minn. (KEYC) - After over 50 years of one generation running Irish Mountain Orchard, another generation takes control.

“He started this so long ago, and it’s grown into something so beautiful,” Emily Merickel said.

Dr. Dwain Merickel started Irish Mountain Orchard as a retirement project with his wife, kids, and only a few trees in 1970.

“They started out with some trees for the family up by the house, and then dad decided that this was his retirement project. After he retired from dentistry, he did a lot of research and wanted to grow it, and so they kept planting trees every year and now there are about 32 acres,” Becky Merickel explained.

This year, the orchard added another frequent request: visitors can now pick their own apples.

“So they can come out and pick their own out of a bin and choose their own, or stop in like they did before and grab a bag of apples to enjoy from the orchard or the bins,” Becky Merickel added.

Still, the Merickel family comes together, continuing this tradition of fostering apples into the next generation, even making the trip a biannual occasion. This includes Emily Merickel, who married into the family.

“Well, it’s a pretty amazing place. We like to come out in the spring when it’s full of blossoms and bees, and we like to come out again in the fall for apple picking time,” Emily Merickel stated.

Follow Irish Mountain Orchard on Facebook for more updates, or visit their website for more information.