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Rensselaer Falls orchard expands

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RENSSELAER FALLS — Steven L. and Gayle M. Fobare have turned their dream of an apple orchard into an apple-lovers’ paradise at their 180 Johnson Road home.

Since 2009, the couple has been working to supply the north country with quality organic fruit from their U-pick orchard, Fobare’s Fruits.

This year, the Fobares have expanded the orchard to include a gift shop, playground, country market and bakery.

Mr. Fobare, a dairy farmer for 20 years before getting into the construction and asphalt business, and Mrs. Fobare, a 25-year food service worker at St. Lawrence University, Canton, said they dreamed of opening a place where families could build memories.

“Gayle and I enjoy making people happy and we enjoy farming; this seemed like a great way to combine those two things,” Mr. Fobare said.

The apples sell for an average of 80 cents per pound, with bushels ranging from $12 to $26, depending on the type of apple.

“That’s cheaper than you’d get in most stores,” Mr. Fobare said. “We’re trying to offer a high-quality product at a very fair price. We know, with times being hard and grocery prices higher than ever, people need a break somewhere.”

This year, the orchard has produced 2,500 bushels of fruit. McIntosh, ginger gold, early gold and honey crisp are just a few of the dozen apple varieties offered at Fobare’s. There are several varieties of grapes, berries and peaches to pick, too.

Their pumpkin patch is one of the biggest in the north country, with an estimated 10,000 pumpkins. Decorative gourds, Indian corn, cornstalks and four different kinds of squash also are available.

“There will be hayrides through the orchard, so folks can get a chance to see it all,” Mr. Fobare said.

Fobare’s Farm Market offers jams, jellies, cheeses, maple syrup products, honey products, several varieties of jerky, cider doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, apple pies, apple bread and apple crisp.

“We want to be a one-stop shop for hunters headed to camp this fall,” Mr. Fobare said.

The Fort Applewood Playground has swings, teepees and a 32-by-70-foot kangaroo jump pillow, one of only 800 in the world.

The gift shop offers baked goods and country crafts made by local artisans.

“We’re hoping to keep everything open until Christmastime so people get their baked goods for the holidays,” Mr. Fobare said.

To schedule a party or family gathering, or to check the availability of apples, call the Fobares at 344-1207 or 528-0052.

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