The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog

October 11, 2011

Meet the Farmer: Blue Heron Orchard

Dan Kelly started Blue Heron Orchard in 1990 when he planted 500 apples trees of eleven different varieties on five acres of land overlooking the Mississippi River in Canton, Missouri. Blue Heron has practiced organic farming since the trees were first planted and was the first certified organic apple orchard in the state of Missouri.

blueheron-m05Dan Kelly’s interest in agriculture began when he volunteered with the Soil Conservation Service in the late 1980s. He soon discovered an abandoned apple orchard of about 100 trees outside of town and helped the property owner to clean up and maintain the orchard. Shortly thereafter, Dan acquired the farmhouse and 26.4 acre-property that would become Blue Heron Orchard.

With no orcharding experience other than his volunteer work, Dan taught himself through reading an old book from a church book sale and extension bulletins. He says the “orchard is his teacher” and that he is intimately connected to his trees and the ecosystem that nourishes them.

You can visit Blue Heron on the web at

Blue Heron Orchard is also our SLOWednesday featured farm for October 12th at 7:30 in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks

SLOWednesday occurs on the second Wednesday of each month between June and October, and is presented by Slow Food St. Louis and the Schlafly Bottleworks. Each month a different farmer from the Maplewood Farmers Market will speak about their farm, giving you the opportunity to get to know your food, its origins, and most important, its producers. The culinary staff of the Schlafly Bottleworks will also cook a special meal utilizing products from the featured farm. Blue Heron Orchard is featured for Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30pm in the Crown Room.