So, What’s Happening in The Orchard – January 2018

So, What’s Happening In The Orchard?

Welcome to a chilly 2018! According to state weather data we haven’t seen these types of cold temperatures since 1961. Extended forecasts say that we will soon be back into a more typical Nebraska weather pattern to finish off the winter of 2017/2018.
So, what does go on in the orchard this time of year? Well, primarily pruning. Every single tree or vine is visited and pruned. We prune to remove any damage that may have occurred through the previous growing season. Pruning also eliminates excessive growth to open the tree up for better sunlight penetration and to increase air movement through the tree. Pruning improves both the overall health of the tree and the quality of the fruit produced.

One important activity for us here at the orchard and anyone else that planted trees during the last season is watering, whether they are fruit trees or ornamentals. The Fall and Winter of 2017/2018 has seen very little precipitation. Even with the snow we have had the ground is still dry. When conditions are warmer, which will thaw the ground, we will be watering all newly planted trees. I encourage anyone else to do the same. According to the extended forecast for the rest of January and into February it seems we will have an opportunity for this to happen.

Thank-you to everyone that attended our pruning workshop in December. We all had a wonderful time, and everyone went away knowing quite a bit more about pruning all types of fruit, from apples to blackberries. Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard will continue our Orchard Training Series in March with a Vineyard Development—from site selection to harvest and everything in between. In May we will cover Fruit Tree Establishment, August—Small Fruits and then finish the season with a Pruning session in December again. More information about these classes will soon follow on our Facebook page and website .

To stay on top of everything going on at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat or visit us at .
Vaughn Hammond –Orchard Operations and Education Team Leader

What’s Happening in the Orchard?

Can you believe Halloween is right around the corner? The apple crop has been absolutely FANTASTIC! The cool nights that we experienced during the later part of August and early September have resulted in beautifully colored, sweet fruit. The rains and great growing conditions this season has resulted in one of the best apple crops we’ve seen in years. We have plenty of Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Braeburn and Granny Smith ready for you to pick in the orchard or buy in the Apple Barn.

With a great apple crop comes the opportunity for a great apple cider season as well. The Orchard Team is pressing apples several days every week right now producing thousands of gallons of sweet, delicious apple cider for everyone to enjoy. The cider we make here at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard is used to make our apple donuts, apple slushies, apple wine and our newest product in the line-up, hard cider which has become a big hit.

Since we are talking about apple cider did you know that it takes approximately 36 apples to make 1 gallon of apple cider. A bushel of apples which weighs approximately 40 pounds will press out about 3 gallons of fresh apple cider.

Fall brings us another fun crop that we love to share with you and your family. Pumpkins and gourds! We have dozens of different types ready for picking right now. There are big ones, small ones, pie pumpkins, Cinderella types and many more that will make the perfect Jack-O-Lantern or Autumn display for your home or business.

A quick reminder to everyone interested in learning about pruning fruit trees. The Orchard Team will be presenting a hands-on class on December 9, 2017 that covers all aspects of pruning fruit trees. For more information about this opportunity visit our website at and go to the events page or call the orchard at 402-873-5293.

So once again we invite you and your family to come out to Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard to spend some time with us picking apples and choosing the perfect pumpkin before Halloween. Enjoy the beauty of the orchard while taking a leisurely ride on the hayrack or hiking on the new Kimmel Nature Trail and Tree Dome.

To stay on top of everything going on at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard through the Fall season follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
Vaughn Hammond –Orchard Operations and Education Team Leader


Peach Sangria

This sangria is SO easy and delicious, it’s a sure favorite at your next backyard barbecue!

  • 1 Cup diced peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Mix together. Let Sit.
  • 1 Bottle Kimmel Reserve
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Limeade
  • 1 Cup White Grape Juice
  • 10 oz. Sprite
  • Juice From 1/2 of a Lime

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher.

Add all diced peaches with sugar and garnish with orange slices.


Sweet & Savory Peach Chicken


  • 6 Kimmel Orchard Peaches
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Onion – Diced
  • 1 Regular Size Can Chicken Stock or Broth
  • 2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tblsp. of Minced Kimmel Orchard Habanero Garlic
  • 2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Dash Nutmeg
  • 3 Tblsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 Tblsp. Kimmel Orchard Hot Peach Sauce
  • Coconut Oil
  • Brown or White Rice
  • Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano to Taste


First, slice peaches and place in medium to large saucepan. In the saucepan, add the cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then turn low and simmer until peaches are very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed and it is a caramel like consistency.

While Peaches are Cooking:

Dice the onion and sauté in a large pan with coconut oil, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and Kimmel Orchard habanero garlic. Once the onions are browned and caramelized, add the chicken and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, Kimmel Orchard hot peach sauce, and soy sauce to pan. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until all broth is absorbed. Once the chicken is done, add your cooked peaches and stir until mixed. Serve over rice.

Stay tuned for our side dish of Zesty Zucchini & Corn!

Zucchini Bruschetta Bites


  • 1 Medium Zucchini – Sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 Large Eggs – Beaten
  • 1 Cup Corn Flakes (mash into crumbs)
  • 1 Cup Panko Crumbs
  • 1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together cornflake crumbs, panko crumbs, onion powder and garlic salt.

Dip sliced zucchini into egg and then into crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper paper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Top with 1 Teaspoon Bruschetta Sauce (Kimmel Orchard Sundried Tomato is what we used). Return to oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if desired.


Simple Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

With strawberry season upon us, we whipped up a super EASY Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp. Using only strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and one of our Kimmel Orchard crisp mixes, this recipe is nearly fool proof.


  • 1 Quart Strawberries
  • 4-5 Rhubarb Stalks
  • 1/2 Cup to 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Package of Kimmel Orchard Crisp Mix
  • 4 Tblsp. Butter

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Dice strawberries and rhubarb into small chunks. Add desired amount of sugar to rhubarb and strawberries. We used a little over a 1/2 cup…just depends on how sweet you want it. 🙂

Blend together 3/4 of the Kimmel Orchard crisp mix with 4 tablespoons of melted butter.

Put strawberry-rhubarb mix in a 9×9″ baking dish, top with crumbly mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream and enjoy! 🙂



~ Caramel Apple Cheesecake ~



  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine- melted

Mix crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and margarine. Press onto bottom of 9 inch spring form pan. Bake 10 min. at 350 degrees F.


  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large apples (thin peeled slices) –We used our Jonagold’s for this recipe.
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar at medium speed with mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend vanilla and pour over crust from above. Drizzle with half the caramel sauce. Toss apples with 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Layer apple mixture over cream cheese layer; sprinkle with chopped pecans and drizzle with the other 1/2 of caramel sauce.

Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan and refrigerate.

We also added more caramel to the top when serving it…cause can you really ever have too much caramel?! 🙂