When Baxter and Carol Adams came to the Hill Country in 1980 little did they suspect that they would become pioneer apple growers. Baxter was a geologist in Houston before buying Love Creek Ranch near Medina. Because the land was so beautiful with native Texas trees and plants, Baxter decided to plant an experimental apple orchard rather than stocking with livestock and grazing pastures that were already overgrazed. However, apples had not been grown in the Hill Country on a commercial basis, so it was with a pioneering spirit that he experimented with apples. When he discovered that the trees would grow and produce tasty apples, a new industry for the area was born. About the same time he also began growing and propagating the rare and beautiful native Bigtooth maple tree (Acer grandidentatum) which were abundant on the ranch. This, too, became a new and successful endeavor in the Hill Country. Now he is the main propagator in the state of the Bigtooth maple, restoring the population of these spectacular trees that almost became extinct due to the deer pressure. From this meager, timid beginning came 5 apple orchards, an apple store with pies, jams and jellies, a Patio Café, an annual Medina Apple Festival, an autumn pumpkin festival (“The Pumpkin Patch”), a pick-your-own orchard and the town of Medina bursting with new activity.
Today in Medina you will find an apple orchard with varieties of apples such as Gala, Mollies delicious, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, Jonathan, and (would you believe) Adams’ Apples? Other pick your own fruits include blackberries, peaches, figs, and Oriental persimmons. Behind the orchard is a large native plant nursery with thousands of maples in 5 and 15-gallon sizes. The store is now The Apple Store with new owners Stacie and Bryan Hutzler. Many of the same food products are found there such as the famous 5-pound apple pie, yummy bakery goods, and delicious homemade jams and jellies. The Patio Café was recently listed by Texas Monthly as one of the 40 best roadside restaurants in Texas.
At the orchard, friendly folks are waiting to greet you as well as Maggie May, our black Labrador Retriever, hoping you will bring young children to run and play with her.