About Partridge Point Orchard
Bennie and Shirley Blackburn came from a history of farming in the central part of Missouri where they grew up and went to high school together. After the Korean War, Bennie came to the Peoria area in search of work. They started Partridge Point Orchard by planting the first apple trees in 1974 and opened to the public in 1979. They chose dwarf trees (mature at 8' - 10') for convenience of picking and pruning. Over the years they have changed varieties as the market changed, so currently they have nine popular varieties consisting of over 800 apple trees.
They grow their fruit using Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Integrated Pest Management means they trap for damaging insects, electronically monitor for crop ruining diseases, and do not spray unless absolutely necessary. IPM means a combination of techniques that are safer for the environment and children. The sprays they might have to use are considered "soft" and are specific for a short time only. They use preventive controls (where possible) to stop harmful diseases. Good growing practices take time and effort, but bring a balance to controlling pests.