K. Schlegel Fruit Farm is a fifth generation family farm located in Dalmatia, PA 30 miles north of Harrisburg overlooking the east shore of the Susquehanna River. Farming since 1927, we have approximately 35 acres in fruit production growing over 30 varieties of apples, 18 varieties of white and yellow peaches, donut peaches, strawberries, sweet and sour cherries, apricots, apriums, white and yellow nectarines, plums, pluots, grapes, pears, sweet corn, strawberries and more! We also offer all of our own Apple Cider, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, and many types of homemade Applesauce, Apple Butter, and Jams.
We grow all of our own produce using advanced IPM methods. This came about in 2004 as Karl and Betsy, the current owners, were raising four young children. Raising a family, as well as living near and working in the orchard, they wanted to make sure that their farming practices were as both safe and ecologically sustainable as possible. After much research and with the help of scientists at Penn State they began to make the switch from conventional growing to Integrated Pest Management (IPM). By 2009 we were just one of thirteen orchards in PA to fully implement this ground breaking research which most notably included using whole farm mating disruption in place of conventional pesticides.
Karl and Betsy’s four children, Keri, Kelsey, Kaleb, and Kalan, are now grown, and actively involved with the farm, even now with their own children. The IPM program has been very successful and we strive to protect the beneficial insects in our orchards to ensure its continued success. We have reduced our pesticide usage by up to 80% less than conventionally grown produce, as well as completely eliminating the use of organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, and use only reduced risk and organic pesticides when necessary. Since 2009 we have been formally 3rd Party IPM Certified and members of Eco Apple, a Massachusetts based organization dedicated to sustainable, ecological, and innovative growing methods.