Who: Boggio’s Orchard and Produce
What: Apple orchard, market store, family play area
Where: 12087 IL Hwy. 71, Granville, IL (815) 339-2245
Monday-Saturday: 6-9am donuts and pastries; 9am-6pm market open
Sunday: 6-9am donuts and pastries; 9am-5pm market open
Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I remember idyllic fall Sundays at apple orchards, filling bushels to the brim with fresh apples right off the tree. Now that it’s fall, my Facebook feed is full of friends taking their kids there. The manfriend (okay, maybe if you’ve been reading this long we’re friends now and I should just tell you his name is Charles) told me Boggio’s was the best orchard that wasn’t too far of a drive. So, on an unseasonably warm Sunday right before Halloween, we headed about an hour south and slightly west of DeKalb to tiny Putnam County, the smallest county in Illinois, to check it out.
The sign was a bit hard to spot from the direction we were heading, but we could see the parked cars and rows of fresh pumpkins. I didn’t realize there were so many different hues of pumpkin—they had Jack-o’-lantern orange, yellow, and pale ivory pumpkins lined up in rows like Legos. We headed inside to the market shop and checked out all the apple products and paraphernalia. We made sure to get some apple cider donuts; Charles was afraid they might be out. They also had fresh fudge made on site, and I have to say it was about the best fudge I’d ever tasted. Good enough to prompt strange cravings a year from now, I reckon. They happily handed out free samples and we left our consumption at that. I especially liked the tiger butter, a mix of peanut butter and vanilla.
We chatted with the people behind the counter a bit and they told us Boggio’s had formerly been in Hennepin but moved to Granville in 1992 under new ownership. The cashiers explained that the wooden contraptions on the wall were apple seeders. I heard it as “cedars,” but they explained that they were designed to remove seeds from apples meant for processing. I tried to Google more information about them and found a bunch of stuff about Apple computers. Maybe it goes by a fancier and less prosaic name I’m not aware of?
We had a lot of driving in the 815 to pack into the day, so we didn’t stay that long. Charles was ready to go after we bought a few small things but I insisted on checking out what was behind the store and wandered around snapping pics. He really missed out, as there was a guy singing and playing guitar, a corn maze, a petting zoo, and kiddie hot rod rides. I didn’t see anyone picking apples, and they only seemed to have a few small rows of trees, though the website says it’s a u-pick-em joint. Maybe there’s another section I missed.
Boggio’s was a great place to take kids with plenty for them to do. For adults just passing through, it’s a great way to enjoy the fall weather before winter clamps down and stock up on some gifts and treats for yourself. We were lucky and got there on one of the last really warm weekends, complete with ladybugs crawling all over us and seeping into the car.