Endodontist Ed Stec spends his days treating diseases of the dental pulp and surrounding tissue. (Think root canal.)
His wife, Stephanie Larson, is also a dentist.
In their free time they run the Sunrise River Farm, an enterprise that keeps the whole family busy.
Sons Matt, Tim, Andy and Tabias and daughter Hannah all help out. The first tree was planted in 2000, the year Hannah was born.
Ed’s parents, Frank and Trudy, also work at the orchard. Frank is 87 and Trudy is 80.
Daughter-in-law Angela and Stepanie’s brother Rick are also involved.
The enterprise that keeps this many people busy is a 45-acre farm in Wyoming, located on Wyoming Trail just north of its intersection with Pioneer Road.
More than 4,000 apple trees yield Zestar, Honey Crisp, Sweet Sixteen, Cortland, Snow Sweet, Sweet Tango, Fireside, Haralson and Chestnut Crab apples.
You can pick apples yourself or visit the retail barn, which opened in 2005. There, washed apples are kept in a cooler for freshness, and you’ll find honey produced on the farm, plus jams and jellies, caramel apples, maple syrup and cider. “We also have some crafts from my mom,” Stec says.
Visiting the picturesque farm, with pasture parking, fall leaf color on the trees and several attractive barns, is not just a shopping excursion. Sunrise River Farm encourages guests to enjoy the animals, including horses, llamas, chickens, pot-bellied pigs, miniature ponies, dogs and kittens. Hayrides and tours can be arranged.
For horticulture lovers, new this year is a greenhouse. Along with annuals, perennials and herbs, you can buy orchids, cacti and carnivorous plants.
Sunrise River Farm is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information visit www.sunriseriverfarm.com or call 651-462-8220.
Local apple orchards open for business
These apple orchards are within 25 miles of Forest Lake, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Visit the Minnesota Grown website at www.mda.state.mn.us.
Covered Bridge Farm
18655 Forest Blvd. N, Forest Lake
Sunrise River Farm
7602 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming
22350 Sunrise Rd. NE, Stacy
7306 24th Ave., Hugo
Pine Tree Apple Orchard
450 Apple Orchard Rd., White Bear Lake
Stillwater Christmas Tree Farm
12303 May Ave. N, Stillwater
Pleasant Valley Orchard
17325 Pleasant Valley Rd., Taylors Falls
Victoria Valley Orchard
4304 Victoria St. N, Shoreview
Aamodt’s Apple Farm
6428 Manning Ave. N, Stillwater
18978 Lake George Blvd. NW, Oak Grove
Wild Fruits Farm
34432 Teal Avenue, Taylors Falls
Amador Hill Farm at the
Women’s Environmental Institute
15715 River Road, North Branch