Van Lin Orchard
Van Lin Orchards near LaCrescent was bought in 1958 by Frank and Helen Van Lin. It began as a dairy farm, but then things changed in 1959 when Frank started a tree nursery. In the nursery, dwarf trees were raised from stock imported from Holland. In 1994, Van Lin Orchards was sold to Frank’s sons Dan and Rick. Today, Dan and Rick co-own the orchard and have 50 acres of bearing and nonbearing apple trees. The apples from the orchard are mostly boxed up and sorted by a regional packer, although some are locally sold to roadside stands and stores. Some of the varieties of apples that Dan and Rick grow include Haralson, Regent, Fireside Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, Zestar, Gala, and Fugi. The newest varieties grown include Swee Tango and Pazazz. Swee Tango was developed by the U of M and Pazazz is a variety developed by Doug Shefelbine of Wisconsin.
Van Lin Orchards has been a member of the MN Apple Growers Association for over 30 years. The orchard is also a member of the La Crescent Chamber of Commerce. Every harvest Van Lin Orchard donates cooking and eating apples to schools, churches, and local food banks. They also give bus tours during the La Crescent Apple Fest.