Reporting Matt Brickman
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota knows its apples.
The U of M developed the Sweet Tango, the Zestar and the state fruit — The Honey Crisp.
Orchards are brimming with people, trying to get their hands on those apples this time of year.
But which apple orchard is the best?
WCCO viewers sent Matt Brickman to Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake.
It’s a place so picturesque you’d want to come here, even if they didn’t have apples.
“When the orchard was first planted in 1904, the gentleman that planted it really looked around for a sight just like this,” Nancy Jacobson said. “It’s a classic apple growing sight.”
On top of a spectacular view, the lake and rolling hills create a natural air circulation — perfect for apple growing.
“That helps ripen up apples, it turns them red, it protects them from frost and freeze,” Jacobson said.
That’s something Nancy’s parents – Art and Dickey Jacobson – discovered when they came to the orchard in 1950.
“My parents were living in St. Paul, and dad always wanted to work outside for a living,” she said. “He answered an employment ad. They ended up taking over the orchard in 1958.”
The orchard has been the family business and home ever since.
“It was a great place to climb trees, my gosh, I climbed trees every day after school,” Nancy said. “It was wonderful.”
Today, all six adult siblings work here.
They’re in the bakery churning out all manner of apple-filled goodies. They still use mom’s apple pie recipe.
The Jacobsons are a family that clearly loves what they do. And that love has been enough to carry them through more than 60 apple seasons.
“You have to have the skill, you have to have the knowledge,” Nancy said. “But it really does take passion and you know, there’s a little bit of magic involved. A little faith.”