New owners wishing to perpetuate the tradition of the community orchard | News, Sports, Jobs

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The Stucky family stand outside the community orchard after taking ownership of the Fort Dodge landmark. The Stuckys bought the orchard from Greg and Bev Baedke. Standing in front are Erin, 6, and Jack, 10. Behind, Denny, Emily and Charlie, 12 years old.

Once Denny and Emily Stucky took ownership of the community orchard, they quickly realized how important it was to the community.

When the Stuckys posted their ad on Facebook, they were quickly inundated with congratulations and good luck announcements from family, friends and clients.

“We are extremely proud to own the community orchard,” said Emily Stucky, a 2005 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High School. “I knew it was a big deal, but after creating our Facebook, I realized what a big deal it was.

“I read every comment and realized how excited everyone was for us and the community.”

The couple were born and raised in Fort Dodge and know how important this landmark is to the community.

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Denny Stucky and his wife Emily stand outside the community orchard. The Stuckys bought the orchard from Greg and Bev Baedke. The Baedkes have been in the orchard for more than 50 years and owners for more than 40 years.

“It didn’t take long to realize the importance of the orchard to the community,” said Denny Stucky, a 2000 St. Edmond High School graduate.When we were kids, my mom and dad would take us as a family and we would have apple dumplings and cinnamon ice cream.

“It’s a neat place and it means a lot to the community and surrounding communities.”

Greg and Bev Baedke have run the community orchard for over four decades. The Baedkes, who are approaching their sixties, decided it was time to take a step back.

After a discussion one holiday evening, the idea of ​​the orchard for sale came up and after returning home and discussing the possibility, the Stuckys jumped at the chance.

“It came out of nowhere. We were having dinner on vacation and it came out of a conversation that they would consider selling the orchard,” Denny Stucky said.At the end of the conversation, we started talking and got excited about the opportunity and the chance to be part of it and continue as the orchard was.

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The children Stucky, Jack, 10; Erin, 6; and Charlie, 12, sit on the big chair in the community orchard.

“We came back from vacation and we did it. We were able to get out of it. »

The Stuckys took possession of the community orchard on Monday.

For the past 15 years, Denny Stucky worked for Dale’s Petroleum Service, which built propane and anhydrous plants. Emily Stucky had been a mortgage agent for 15 years.

“When my youngest Erin was born, I took a break from work and was at Back 40 Playground,” she said. “I was still here with all my children. When I was browsing through pictures there were so many pictures at the Back 40 – the kids love it.

“I didn’t realize how much of a part of our lives this was. We always go to the pumpkin patch and the Back 40. It’s a tradition for our kids and I remember going there when I was a kid.

The Stuckys became owners of the community orchard and the Baedkes have been by their side ever since and plan to be there during the transition.

“Honestly, if they hadn’t offered to be here during the transition, I don’t know how we could have done this,” Denny Stucky said. “This place has grown so much and there are so many parts of the orchard.

“We are so lucky and grateful that they are so willing to work with us as one of their own. It wouldn’t and couldn’t happen without them.

Emily Stucky had the same feelings.

“They want the community orchard to succeed,” she said. “We would be completely lost without them.

The Baedkes, who have been co-owners since 1981 and full owners since 1991, were happy to find a family with such a passion for the community orchard.

“There is a lot of emotion in selling. We’ve been doing it for over 50 years and it’s our baby,” Bev Baedke said. “We have a big family taking over. We are blessed right now that these guys are so excited.

“They’ll rock with this.”

Greg Baedke, who grew up in the pumpkin patch as an eight-year-old in the 1960s, will be by the Stucky’s through the process.

“We are going to stay for a year,” he said. “We’ll be there while they learn and they can see the process through each month.

“They are very nice people and they are not afraid to talk. Right now they are learning the customs, but they will do a great job.

The Stuckys have lots of ideas about the orchard, but admit it will be a learning process.

“We have to walk before we run,” said Denny Stucky. “We have a lot of ideas, but the first year is going to be wait and see. It will definitely be a process.

“We so appreciate the Baedkes and the support of the community that attracts us.”

Denny, 40, and Emily, 35, have three children, Charlie, 12; Jacques, 10 years old; and Erin, 6.

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