Update provided by Terri - LuceLine Orchard was hit by a tornado on Friday July 17th at about 11:00 pm. The tornado took a straight path covering a distance of 4 miles touching down at the Back of the apple orchard, lifted over the house and barn touching down again, traveling on “Porters nature trail” and ending at the back of the trail. The tornado was unexpected and devastating to our farm. We are still losing trees, but so far have lost 5 to 6 thousand apple trees and about 100 large trees on the trail and yard. Our beautiful tree lined nature trail (where 3 couples got engaged last season) lost the majority of the trees. Our gazebo was demolished as was our little chicken coop and the roof on the house needs new shingles.
The good news…We still have approximately 5,000 apple trees left and producing apples! Our shady trail is now sunny allowing us to plant more colorful trees for fall. Our “Tornado Tour” hayrides, we will show you where the tornado touched down in the orchard and our educational nature trail has become even more so this year dubbed “The Tornado Trail”, you can clearly see where the tornado touched down at the end of the trail. For the most part, the vineyard which lost its crop last year due to the cold winter, now has beautiful grapes. Our Corn for the corn maze is fine. The huge field of pumpkins, squash and gourds are in full bloom. All of our beloved animals are safe and sound. Not one chicken was in the little coop that was demolished. Thank goodness they like roosting with the sheep and goats! The morning after the tornado not one of the animals would come out of their buildings. The cows shook for a day. They all are fine now. The equipment, tractors and all of our merchandise are fine. Last, but not least Rich and I are ok. My cell phone siren went off and I woke up Rich. We both spent most of the time looking out of the kitchen window watching the gazebo go down and trees falling, so worried about the animal shed that we couldn’t see due to a fallen tree.
More good news…The angels who showed up to help us. How could we ever repay the kindness of the people who came out and the companies who helped us as well. We are getting cards, people brought food and beverages, chainsaws, rakes and their muscle power. We are thankful for your prayers and good wishes. You will never know how thankful we are. It will take 6 or 7 years to get the trees we lost back to the stage they were when the tornado hit, but we will replant and we will be back. Our son Reed Pawelk summed it up this way. “We will look back on 2015 and say we made it!”