CARVER COUNTY, MN – Although Luce Line Orchard near Watertown lost about half its apple crop the night of July 17, owners Rich Pawelk and Terri Traen Pawelk and their children consider themselves fortunate.
“It was horrible, but we are beyond grateful for the outpouring of support from the local community and volunteers; we had over 200 throughout the weekend,” daughter Abby Pawelk noted. “We are beyond blessed.”
According to KARE 11, an EF-1 tornado touched down late July 17, destroying more than 5,000 of Luce Line Orchard’s 10,000 apple trees, as well as a gazebo and other trees on the property.
The farm animals survived the storm, and the grapes were not damaged.
Many volunteers helped with cleanup throughout the weekend, cutting up trees, picking up apples, and supplying food. Among them was Blue Moo Ice Cream of Brooklyn Park, which brought free ice cream treats.
According to the Luce Line Orchard’s Facebook page, the orchard will still be open this fall, “better than ever.”