LA CRESCENT, MN (WXOW)—The Apple Capital of Minnesota may have had one less apple stand this year if another orchard owner didn't step up to save Leidel's Apples.
Leidel's apples has been in the family for six generations, since 1917, no one in the Leidel family had the means to run the stand, on Highway 16, in La Crescent, this year.
It's still owned by the Leidel family, but Tom Ferguson, owner of Ferguson's Orchards, is running it this year.
While Ferguson was busy running his own orchard, in Galesville, two and a half weeks ago he got a phone call he wasn't expecting.
"We had to think about it a little bit, we didn't want to spread ourselves too thin but we said yeah we'd hate to see Leidel's apple stand go out of business because once this is gone they'll probably never be another one here."
For years people, like Becky Haack have relied on Leidel's as their place to get fresh fruit.
"We used come see Bernie (Buehler) and Roseanne and then the kids and grand kids," Haack said.
Even though Ferguson is renting the stand for the year, he'll keep the name, but most of the apples come from his orchard.
"It's still pretty local only 22 miles away," he said.
He said the stand is a good opportunity to cut out the middle man.
"Anytime we're able to go direct to the customer the apples are better because the freshness, you can't beat. I picked theses apples in my hand here this week," Ferguson said.
And a good opportunity to help La Crescent live up to its name.
"I think it's important to have good competition for different businesses to really make it the apple capital instead of just one or two businesses," Haack said.
Ferguson is excited to be in the apple capital....but for now they're just taking it one season at a time.
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