CNC’s Apple Orchard and Apple Shack

The Apple Shack will be opening September 2nd for the 2023 season!

Our apple orchard in Minnesota began as the passion of Thomas and Edna Carpenter in the early 1940’s, and today, Carpenter’s apples are some of the tastiest and healthiest apples in the community. As a nature center, we are committed to growing and providing the highest quality fruit in a sustainable environment. If you are looking for fresh, locally grown apples, you have come to the right place.

Besides apples, our Apple Shack has other quality goods for sale, including pumpkins, gourds, squash, honey, and maple syrup. We also offer a selection of gourmet jams, syrups, mustards and more. Our wildflower honey is extracted from the beehives in early September and is available while supplies last.


We proudly grow 15 varieties of high quality apples using integrated pest management, which is  an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional apple farming. The care and hard work we put into growing our apples results in delicious fruit that are sought-after in our community.

Even though the harvest season is short in Minnesota, we put our harvests to good use all year round. Our apples are generally ready for picking around September to October.

*The above dates are estimates based on usual ripening time, and can vary year by year. Please call us at (651)-437-4359 (and ask for the Apple Shack) to check what is currently available.


Our high-quality products sell out fast, but if you sponsor an apple tree, you never have to worry that you might miss out on your favorite variety. Apple sponsorships guarantee you 40 pounds of premium-grade apples in a variety of your choice and include a tax-deductible donation to Carpenter Nature Center. Apples are packaged in 5lb bags. They can be picked up all at once, or over the course of the season depending on the variety of apple you’d like.

This year we are also offering a Taste of the Seasons sampler sponsorship. Experience the many apple varieties our orchard offers, including Zestar, SweeTango, Honeycrisp, Haralson, Cortland, Honeygold, Regent, & Snowsweet as they become available throughout the season.


For additional questions, please contact Erika at  or by phone at 651-437-4359 ext 101.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours?

  • The Apple Shack is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesdays – Sundays starting around Labor Day through November 24. During the fall, CNC front gates and Apple Shack will remain open until 5:00 p.m. All other buildings, parking lots, and trails close daily at 4:30 p.m.

Where are you located?

  • The Apple Shack in located at Carpenter Nature Center’s Minnesota Campus (12805 St. Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033). As you pull into the Center take a slight right up the driveway to a gravel road. Friendly faces will be there to greet you inside.

Do you offer Pick-Your-Own apples?

  •   No, we are not a ‘pick your own’ orchard. Refrigerated, pre-picked bags of apples are stocked inside the Apple Shack store for pick up. We DO offer the opportunity to pick your own apples at our Raptor Release and Apple Festival events.

Are we an organic farm?

  • At Carpenter Nature Center, our apples are proudly grown using integrated pest management practices. The result? A healthier environment, and safer apples for you and your family. You can read more about the IPM practices here.

For any other questions, please call 651-437-4359 and ask for “The Apple Shack”.

For questions or further information on our orchard, please contact our Orchard Manager:

Sam Behrends
Call us at 651-437-4359