Summer field day set for June 14

Kuipers Family Farm located near Maple Park will host the 2012 Summer Horticulture Field Day on Thursday, June 14. Wade and Kim Kuipers along with their three children, Tess, 19, Joe, 16, and Will, 14, will welcome growers to the 230-acre entertainment farm.

The Kuipers began operations in 1998 when they opened a 71-acre pumpkin patch. Shortly thereafter, they purchased the Pine-Apple Orchard just across the road, formerly owned by Tom and Dorothy Milnamow. The Kuipers have added several buildings since starting operations in 1998 to house the many entertainment and hands-on activities.

There will be plenty of things for visitors to do. Activities include a corn maze, hayrides, a farm animal petting zoo, pony rides, a haunted forest, a tractor-tire mountain, a pedal-tractor derby, a nature walk, and jumping pillows.

An orchard shop and bakery offer many foods and the chance to smell the aroma of fresh apple-cider doughnuts, home-baked pies, fudge, pasteurized apple cider, and hand-spun caramel apples. The Barn Store offers gift items, including unique fall decorations.

The field day will wrap up with a visit to the Aquaviva winery/vineyard/restaurant located a short distance from Kuipers. Aquaviva, a favorite of Chicagoans, is an award-winning winemaking production center and Neapolitan-style pizza bistro with beautiful artwork. Owners Vito and Joseph will lead a tour of the state-of-the-art winery.

The season runs from September through December; visitors can pick their own apples and pumpkins. Kuipers' is also the place to go for special events such as a cancer fundraiser and many fall festivities. The season concludes with Christmas tree cutting complete with visits by Santa Claus. The rest of the year is spent planning and preparing for the next season.

For more information, contact:

Don Naylor, Executive Secretary

15962 Old Orchard Rd

Bloomington, IL 61705

Phone: 309-828-8929; E-mail: ilsthortsoc@yahoo.com

On the web, go to www.kuipersfamilyfarm.com or www.specialtygrowers.org for more information.

For reservations, go to www.ilsthortsoc@yahoo.com or phone 309-828-8929.

UI Cooperative Extension