Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

All about dragonflies at Montgomery Orchard September 1, 2022

From an elevated platform, a bird’s eye view of the corn maze and the countryside at Montgomery Orchard in 2010. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo October 2010)

THIS TIME OF YEAR, I see, hear, feel autumn on Minnesota’s doorstep.

Already the next-door-neighbor’s maple is turning color, red leaves spiraling into my yard. Goldenrod flag the landscape. Crickets chirp, their incessant chorus singing a refrain of autumn’s approach. Mornings feel pull-on-the-jeans-and-sweatshirt crisp until sunshine warms the day.

And apple season time is underway with area orchards opening, complete with apple picking, hay rides, corn mazes and other activities to draw in customers.

Montgomery Orchard signage in 2010. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2010)

This weekend Montgomery Orchard, located a mile east of the intersections of Minnesota state highways 13 and 99 in Montgomery Township, opens for the 2022 season. Now I could write about many other orchards opening, too, but chose this one to highlight because of a unique program there on Saturday, September 3. The Minnesota Dragonfly Society will present information on dragonflies at 11 am and again at 1 pm with dragonfly catching after each presentation.

A dragonfly. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2022)

Now, I’ve never heard of the Dragonfly Society whose mission is “ensuring the conservation of Minnesota’s dragonflies and damselflies through research and education.” I appreciate that as I find dragonflies fascinating.

The Dragonfly Band has also been booked for the Saturday event at the orchard.

Randy walks through the Minnesota Twins-themed maze in October 2010. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2010)

Montgomery Orchard is going all out with the dragonfly theme this year. The six-acre Be-A-Mazed corn maze is shaped like a dragonfly with interactive trivia about the insect posted throughout the cornfield. Two maze options are offered with a shorter half-hour route geared toward families with young children and a second longer route.

I last visited this orchard 12 years ago, not long after it opened. The business has grown substantially since then, now spreading over 105 rural acres. The Cider Haus is open Saturdays and Sundays, serving five in-house made hard ciders, like Northern Trek and Prairie Harvest, and wine, like the award-winning Plum Crazy and The Full Monty.

Montgomery Orchard bagged apples. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo October 2010)

Apples, in nearly a dozen varieties, are grown and sold here throughout the apple season. Currently ready for picking and/or purchase are Zestar and SweeTango.

In Minnesota, visiting an orchard has developed into an experience, exactly as Montgomery Orchard promotes with its tag, “where friends, family and nature come together.” Hikes and hayrides are also part of the offerings here.

Flamin’ Bleu pizza purchased in-house at Pizzeria 201 in April 2013. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2013)

And on Saturday, popular Montgomery-based Pizzeria 201 will be at the orchard vending pizza from its mobile wood-fired pizza oven. Visitors can also purchase caramel apples, jellies, jams and more from the orchard store.

This orchard is just one of many in my region which I’ve visited and recommend. Others include Apple Creek Orchard, rural Faribault; Trumps Orchard, Faribault; and Fireside Orchard & Gardens, rural Northfield.

TELL ME: Do you have a favorite apple orchard? What makes it a go-to destination for you?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “All about dragonflies at Montgomery Orchard”

  1. beth Says:

    here’s to the dragonflies, may they long live and thrive ! something about them is so magical and beautiful. i love apple orchards, cider mills, corn mazes, all of it. so much fun for all ages. fall is hands down my favorite season

  2. Ruth Says:

    Would you believe a friend just knit a colorwork sweater with dragonflies design? I’ll share your post. How did September
    slip in, Audrey?

  3. So Goldenrod is a harbinger of Fall here? I guess that explains the huge fields of it we saw at Whitetail Ridge a few days ago. And dragonflies – anything that eats mosquitos is our best friend! 😉

  4. I’ve never been in a corn maze. Looks like a great way to spend time with family. Lovely post, Audrey. ❤

  5. I LOVE dragonflies as you might know. Fall is coming and this weekend is Apple Festival in Hendersonville –not sure if we will go or not but there are so many orchards we can go to that feature cider doughnuts and other yummies. Fall is quickly approaching and I am not ready.

  6. Close to us is Olmhorst orchard. It has existed since the 1800’s and is well known as a yearly trek to pick apples and pears. Only about 5km from the house.

  7. Beautiful place 🙂 I love apples and pretty much eat one a day. I miss going to an orchard or having neighbors willing to share their abundance of apples. Our little lime is a producer this year finally – tart and juicy – probably harvested about 2 dozen so far. It is still a little warm here to be donning jeans and long sleeves. Most days it is still in the 70’s at 7 a.m. and within hours into the mid-80’s. I will live the autumn life through you – Happy Day – Enjoy!

  8. Love the idea of the dragonfly event! We don’t have a favorite apple orchard, but we’ve been buying apples from the farmer’s market recently. Love when all those beautiful fruits come in!

  9. Valerie Says:

    This sounds like an interesting event on Saturday. I may have to try and get to the presentation and learn about dragonflies.
    We enjoy Northfield’s Fireside Orchard.

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