The Ferguson property has been an apple orchard since 1870's. Together with other orchards in the area, apples were sold to Winona in the early years, and then distributed as far as Minneapolis, Duluth, Illinois and Winnipeg. The owner of our property in the late 1800's was Mr. Kass, known as "The Apple Man of Little Tamarack."
In 1952 Allyn and Lois Kaste purchased the orchard and turned the business into a viable wholesale and retail business. They operated Kaste's Morningside Orchard for 50 years.
Tom and Deb Ferguson both grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and have lived in several areas of the country, including North Dakota, Arizona and California. In 2001 they traveled from California to the Midwest with their three children, Jill, Andy and Joe, to visit various colleges with Jill. In a local real estate booklet, Deb noticed an apple orchard for sale in Galesville, Wisconsin. With thoughts of "I've always wanted to be a farmer" in Tom's head, he immediately called the realtor. The following year their dreams were realized, and in 2002 they completed the purchase of Ferguson's Orchard.
The Ferguson's opened a second apple retail store in Lake City, Minnesota. This store is managed by Tom's sister, Margaret, and her husband, Greg Nosko.
The Lee Minton family established Eau Claire Orchards in Wisconsin in 1982 and operated the wholesale and retail operation for many years. In April of 2011 the Ferguson family decided to expand again and purchased Eau Claire Orchards. Tom and Deb's son, Andy, joined the family business after graduating law school. Joe, their youngest son, is an active duty United States Marine who will play an active role in the family business after his safe return to Wisconsin.
Ferguson's Orchards - Galesville WI is located in the midst of scenic bluffs in Trempealeau County near the Wisconsin Great River Road Scenic Byway, which runs 250 miles along the Mississippi River. The orchard has approximately 20,000 apple trees and 40 varieties of apples.
Ferguson's Orchards - Lake City MN is conveniently located on Highway 61 across the road from beautiful Lake Pepin in Minnesota, which is the widest naturally-occurring part of the Mississippi River.
Ferguson's Orchards - Eau Claire WI is just a few minutes from the city of Eau Claire but still has a rural farm feel. The country store is in a huge old barn with beautiful beams and a curved roof. This orchard has approximately 10,000 apples trees.
Now in their 10th season, "Farmer Tom," Deb, and their family have worked hard to grow the apple orchard into a thriving agritourism business. They are committed to helping people of all ages experience fun on the farm while enjoying the fruits of their labor!
The original farm house
An ariel photo of Galesville Orchards today
Lake City, MN
Eau Claire, WI