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Erwin Orchards gives “bittersweet” farewell

A landmark community orchard has harvested its final crop.

According to a message posted July 14 on its website,  Linda Erwin said that the Erwin Orchards & Cider Mill signs have been taken down and the Erwin and Emery families would soon begin the next chapter of their lives.

“We have loved this beautiful farm and our chosen profession for over 54 years,” said Erwin. “We are the fourth generation and this is year 102. We are proud of what we have built but know that none of it would have been possible without our yearly beloved and dedicated work family.”

The orchard, which has been a family destination for generations, will be transformed into a development called Orchard Crossings. The 181-acre project will be located at Silver Lake and Kent Lake roads and will include 161 homes on 77 acres built by Lombardo Homes. Another 104 acres will contain the remainder of the orchards and a cider mill.

A 20,000-square-foot tasting room is planned by Armada-based Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, and will be located on the northeast corner of Silver Lake and Kent Lake roads and would include a full-service restaurant. There will also be a 20,000 square-foot event venue, outdoor patio and farmer’s market.

Plans are for the existing cider mill on the south side of Silver Lake to be expanded by 12,500 square feet with an outdoor gathering space called “Orchard Square” and an “agritainment” area with four pavilions that can host larger events on a 10-acre area.

In closing the farewell message, Erwin thanked all of those who had made the orchard a success.

“We will miss you and be forever grateful that you considered us a beloved Family tradition for so many decades,” she said. “Thank you for the memories and our wish is for everyone to have a life filled with Happiness and Good Health! With Love, The Erwin Orchards Family.”

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