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Retiring owners selling the Apple Works orchard in Trafalgar

A Johnson County couple is selling the apple orchard they have owned for the past 30 years. The orchard has about 10,500 trees.
Credit: Rich Nye

TRAFALGAR, Ind. — Sarah and Rick Brown planted their first apple trees in 1989. After more than 30 years of growing about 70 varieties of apples, the couple is ready to retire. They are selling their 135-acre farm in Johnson County, but expect someone else will continue the business that has become a Central Indiana tourist attraction. The Apple Works property has a list price of $3,595,00.

The farm includes a 25-acre apple orchard, 22-acre pumpkin patch, barn store, shelter house for events and weddings, kitchen for large production of baked goods, and several family activities.

Credit: Rich Nye

People come to the barn store to buy apples and all kinds of apple products, as well as fresh produce and baked goods. In the fall, visitors can take a hay ride, pick their own pumpkin, plus enjoy live music and other activities on the farm.

The orchard has about 10,500 trees that produce a harvest of 12,000 bushels of apples a year. The real estate listing says the Apple Works averaged $1.25 million in annual sales over the last five years. 

The Browns believe there is plenty of room for growth and improvement. They have planted 1,300 new trees in the last year and hope a buyer will continue developing the orchard and farm facility. The Browns want the business to continue to provide a taste of the country life to people from surrounding towns and cities.

"I really like Gold Rush. I've been accused of being the poster child for Gold Rush," Sarah Brown said. 

"We started with 10 acres of apple trees at the top of the hill up here. Believe it or not, we put a picnic table out by the edge of the road and our daughters sold apples," Rick Brown said.  Over 31 years, the Apple Works in Trafalgar has grown into 135 acres of apple orchard, pumpkin patch, barn store and farm attraction. 

"I miss it already. I might have to ask the people who buy it if I can come work for them because this is our identity. This farm is our identity. We're just going to try to find new ones. We will be providing full support to the buyers," Rick and Sarah added. 

The asking price is just under $3.6 million dollars.