The three most imporant reasons for the Czipar’s Apple Orchard success are location, location, location. Their orchard south of Dubuque is located atop a hill between two valleys, so the wind shifts back and forth through the trees and keeps the frost away that can damage fruit blossoms. Many orchards lost their crop last year to an early frost, but Steve and Shella Czipar came through just fine.
The orchard has been in their family for 51 years, with Steve’s father and grandfather operating it before him. Steve and Shella’s son Tyler is interested in taking over the operation some day. They also have a daughter, Kari.
The Czipar’s grow 24 varieties of apples, Asian pears, plums and regular pears. They have a cider press at the orchard that can make 123 gallons an hour, so they have lots of fresh cider in the fall and frozen cider for most of the winter. They also use the cider to make delicious doughnuts.
After a rough year in 2012, the Czipar’s had a bumper crop of apples this year and have made donations to the Rescue Mission, St. Stephen’s Food Pantry and Hillcrest. “It’s important to give back to the community,” said Steve.
You can find Czipar apples in most of the local grocery stores, and we’re glad they’ve joined us at the Winter Market. Welcome, Steve and Shella!