Managing an Organic Apple Orchard

Saturday, August 24 | 10 a.m. – Noon | Adel, IA

Wills orchard signFor information about organically managing apple trees – or an orchard of them – Maury is one of Iowa’s best sources of knowledge. Maury will discuss the opportunities and challenges of growing organic apples, and on a smaller scale, peaches. Tour the apple handling facility, commercial kitchen and farm store. In addition to production information, the Wills will share how they slowly built their farm, and how their children fit into the operation.

HOSTS: Maury and Mary Wills | Wills Family Orchard


Maury and Mary Wills own and operate Wills Family Orchard. They began planting trees and building their home in 1993, and have slowly expanded the organic apple and peach orchard while crafting homemade value-added products for their farm store. The Wills now have 5 acres of certified organic apple trees; 1 acre of certified organic peach trees; 5 acres of pumpkins, winter squash and ornamental gourds; and a 1-acre corn maze. Maury is also the bureau chief of Agricultural Diversification and Market Development, and program manager of the Organic Certification Program, at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.


  • Apple varieties and rootstocks
  • Scouting for pests and disease
  • Organic pest and disease management
  • Organic understory management
  • Deer fence
  • Peach production
  • Apple handling facility, kitchen and farm store
  • On-farm bird habitat
  • Building a family business

This event is sponsored by:

LOCATION: 33130 Panther Creek Road Adel 50003


From I-80: Take Exit 106 toward Dallas County, and turn north onto L Avenue / County Road P58. Go 2.5 miles and turn left (west) onto E. Panther Creek Road (just after you cross Panther Creek). Follow Panther Creek Road for 1.6 miles, keeping right after 1 mile to turn due north when the road reaches a Y-intersection. In 0.6 mile, before Panther Creek Road turns back to the west, the orchard is on the east side of the road.


Apple cider doughnuts will begin the field day.

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