Local orchard to host first apple pie bake-off

Stevens Family Orchard will soon host its first apple pie bake-off contest.

Sharon and Chris Stevens, who own Stevens Family Orchard at 7344 Thackery Road near Springfield, thinks the contest will be successful.

“We think there’s lots of our customers and other people out there that can make a delicious apple pie,” Sharon Stevens said.

The orchard is run by the couple, as well as their children: Brian, who helps manage the orchard, and Amy, who helps with the Apple Shed, and grandkids.

Sharon said the orchard has been “doing pretty well” and this year they added cider slushes that she said have “gone over really well and everyone’s going crazy about.”

With the family now focusing on growing the orchard, Sharon Stevens said they are trying some new things, including the first apple pie bake-off that will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Anyone can drop off their pies for the contest between 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, or between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. The pies will be judged at 11:30 a.m., a winner will be announced at noon, and the pies will be auctioned at 3:30 p.m.

Sharon Stevens said to make sure to bake the pies in an aluminum disposable pan since they will not be given back to the baker.

All sale proceeds will be donated to the Caring Kitchen in Urbana. First place will win bragging rights plus an apple-themed gift basket and $50 cash, second will win $50 cash and third will win $25 cash.

The family opened the business in 1998 when it started out as a bakery and later became an orchard. The couple sold the bakery to A-OK Creations, owned by Kaitlin Jones, at the end of last year to concentrate more on the orchard.

The orchard offers an apple shed with prepicked apples that is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. They do you-pick apples during the weekends with wagon rides back into the orchard, or customers can walk back during the week.

The orchard also sells home-pressed cider, honey from the beehives, local maple syrup and assortments of apple butter, jams and jellies, as well as pies on the weekends.

For more information, call the orchard at 937-788-2573.

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