Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions2019-02-07T00:19:28+00:00
How does U-Pick work?2016-08-27T03:18:55+00:00

We have apples on trees. Your task is to get those apples into some sort of container and bring them back to us for weighing. In general, twist and pull.

Your container options may include: drawstring bags purchased from us, recycled grocery bags, reusable canvas bags, buckets, baskets, or any other reasonably sized container that you bring with you. You may ask to have any container pre-weighed so we know not to charge you for that weight. Please note that we do not offer crates, baskets, wagons, or anything similar. You will need to bring those items with you.

Are your hours affected by the weather?2016-08-27T03:18:44+00:00

No. We are open 8:30am to 6:00pm regardless of the weather. Rain increases the chance that the orchard will be muddy but you are still free to pick.

Does frost hurt the apples?2016-08-27T03:18:17+00:00

In spring an ill-timed frost can do significant damage to an apple crop. If the weather turns warm then cold the apple trees may have already begun budding and a frost then kills off the buds thus preventing any apples from growing. The most recent severe frost damage we had was in 2012 when we lost a majority of the crop due to high temperatures in March and frost in April.

In the fall a frost is not as damaging to the apple crop. A fall frost can alter the taste of some apples by causing sugars to concentrate. It may also cause certain varieties to have a change in their peel texture, but the fruit is still fine for eating and baking.

What do you do with the apples on the ground?2016-08-27T03:18:04+00:00

Apples naturally drop from the trees throughout the growing and harvesting season. This affects some varieties more than others. Due to health regulations we are not allowed to sell or use the apples on the ground. But they do not go to waste – during the winter deer and other wildlife eat the apples.

Do you take credit cards?2016-08-27T03:17:15+00:00

Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

Do you have doughnuts?2016-08-27T03:17:05+00:00

Yes. We offer fresh apple cider doughnuts as well as several other tasty treats on Saturdays and Sundays.

Do you give tractor rides? What is the cost to ride?2016-08-27T03:16:50+00:00

Yes. On the weekends we offer free tractors rides on our “people mover wagon.” Our tractor driver will gladly give you a tour of the orchard or bring you to the varieties you are most interested in.

What are those poles with bottles on the end?2016-08-27T03:16:38+00:00

These are our homemade high pickers. They are free to use on a first come first serve basis. The majority of our apples trees are now dwarf trees that are shorter and ideal for U-picking without a high picker, but some people find them helpful.

Is smoking allowed?2016-08-27T03:16:26+00:00

Indiana law prohibits smoking in most public places, including our sales room. We ask that you also refrain from smoking while in the orchard as a courtesy to our other guests.

Do you spray the apples?2016-08-27T03:16:10+00:00

Yes. The weather in the midwest, warm and often wet, creates ideal conditions for the growth of insects and diseases that affect apple quantity and quality. Due to this it is almost impossible to grow apples on a large scale organically in Indiana. Some of the fungi and bacteria that flourish in the midwestern climate can be very dangerous to an apple crop causing large scale crop loss and poor quality fruit. Organic fruit found in local stores have often been grown in drier climates where insects and diseases are less prevalent. They are often shipped long distances which can cause them to lose some of their nutritional value.

At Radke Orchard’s we use sustainable and healthy growing practices within the limitations of our Indiana climate. Our crops are sprayed with carefully tested, approved fungicides and insecticides. However, we do our best to reduce our use of chemicals as much as possible and spray only when necessary…especially since they are very expensive. It is important to recognize that organic produce is also sprayed with copper or lime sulfur to protect the plants, and fruit. Many of the pesticides we use are a synthetic form of copper.

Are dogs allowed?2016-08-27T03:19:07+00:00

Yes. Dogs are allowed to join their family picking in the orchard as long as they are on a leash.

Are cats allowed?2016-08-27T03:19:24+00:00

We recommend that you leave your cat at home due to the likelihood of dogs in the orchard.

Are lizards allowed?2016-08-27T03:19:34+00:00

Now you’re just messing with us.