Our Story Began a Century Ago

Before the Orchard:

The original Tuttle’s homestead was built in 1890. Roy Tuttle was raised on these 20 acres that are still part of the Tuttle Orchards property today. In 1914, after a courtship via motorcycle, Roy brought his bride Tillie Giroud to join him on the farm. Five years later, their only daughter, Virgina Tuttle, was born.

An Orchard is Born:

Specialized farming was rare in the early 1900s, but that didn’t stop Roy Tuttle from pursuing his dream of entering the fruit tree business. In 1928, he signed a check to purchase his first apple trees, enough to fill 10 acres, from Starks Brothers Nursery. Most of his neighbors thought he was crazy to plant so many trees.

The Early Years:

In the farm’s early years, Roy Tuttle planted a variety of apples, including Grimes Golden, Rambo, and Delicious. By the late 1930s, the trees were yielding over 700 bushels of apples each year, most of which were sold to the wholesale markets in Indianapolis. The farm also grew other fruits, like peaches, plums, berries, and concord grapes. A dairy barn, built in 1885, was used to raise 15 jersey cows, along with pigs, hens, and a pony or two. When the Great Depression hit, the dairy barn was closed, and efforts were focused on expanding the orchard with more fruit trees.

The Tuttle Family and Farm Grows:

In 1941, Virginia Tuttle married her childhood sweetheart, Raymond Roney. Five years later, their first son, Tom, was born, and their second son, Mike, was born soon after in 1953. Both children grew up picking apples on the farm.

During these years, Tuttle Orchards, now a 35-acre fruit farm, was named a Gold Medal Orchard for growing apples ranked in the top 95% nationally. In 1958, Tuttle’s Stayman Winesap apples placed 2nd in the Indiana State Fair, beginning a 50-year tradition of award-winning apples and crops.

Transition to Retail:

In the early 1960s, Roy Tuttle began to sell more apples locally to schools and groceries, as well as visitors coming to the farm to get produce from his pick-up truck. The Tuttles opened a small retail store in front of the barn where Tillie and Virginia assisted customers in selecting varieties of apples. The family also purchased a cider press to sell their own cider for $1 a gallon.

In 1967, Raymond Roney began to offer school tours to the farm. Agriculture continued to prosper, as Roy Tuttle received a patent for the Stark Supreme Stayman Winesap apple. He sold the rights in exchange for a peach orchard, but to this day, the majority of Winesap apples grown in the US originate from Tuttle's patented strain.

Going Beyond Apples:

During the 1970s, Tom and Mike Roney both received degrees in Horticulture from Purdue University. After serving in the Vietnam War, Tom took over the running of the orchard when Roy Tuttle passed away in 1979. In 1982, Mike joined his brother as co-owner of the farm. The 70s and 80s brought the U-Pick era to Tuttles. Visitors flocked to the farm for strawberries, and Mike expanded the farm’s production of various crops.

The store continued to grow with new produce and additional hours. Helen, Mike’s wife, took over the school tour program. In the late 80s, Mike added 10,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses, expanding the bedding plant section, and the orchard developed a reputation for high-quality spring flowers.

Tuttles began to offer more fall activities in the 90s to meet popular demand, including the Agrimaze, the Kids’ Play Area, and the annual caramel apple festival. In 1994, the orchard received an award for best cider in the nation.

Continuing the Tradition:

With more visitors coming to the farm for the Tuttles experience, the fourth generation of the family started taking an active role in managing the orchards. The Farm Store expanded with hundreds of new products. In 2017, under Helen’s direction, the school tours served over 20,000 guests annually. Mike continued to increase vegetable production with the addition of high tunnel greenhouses which extended the length of the Tuttles growing season.

In 2002 and 2012, the farm continued to win awards for best cider in Indiana. And in 2020, Tuttles won 2nd place in a national sweet cider contest. Tom Roney passed away in 2017, but the family continues to focus on growing the farm and providing the best farm experience to visitors. In 2018, they celebrated the 90th anniversary of Tuttle Orchards.

From 2017 to today, the farm's food offerings have expanded to include homemade donuts, a farm-to-table cafe, and take-and-bake options in our Farm Store, like our famous chicken pot pies.

Tuttle Orchards Today:

The farm continues to grow and change under the direction of the next generation of leadership. Thomas Roney, 5th of Mike and Helen’s 7 children, oversees the production as the farm continues to pursue growing top quality apples, and Ruth Ann Roney, their eldest daughter, directs the retail aspects of the farm.

Tuttle Orchards remains passionate about pursuing new opportunities to provide families with the very best produce and family fun. Our goal is to be central Indiana’s favorite farm destination by serving the needs of our community, expanding our produce and food offerings, and providing fun, educational experiences that help connect people to agriculture.

1890-1927
Before the Orchard:

The original Tuttle’s homestead was built in 1890. Roy Tuttle was raised on these 20 acres that are still part of the Tuttle Orchards property today. In 1914, after a courtship via motorcycle, Roy brought his bride Tillie Giroud to join him on the farm. Five years later, their only daughter, Virgina Tuttle, was born.

1928-1934
An Orchard is Born:

Specialized farming was rare in the early 1900s, but that didn’t stop Roy Tuttle from pursuing his dream of entering the fruit tree business. In 1928, he signed a check to purchase his first apple trees, enough to fill 10 acres, from Starks Brothers Nursery. Most of his neighbors thought he was crazy to plant so many trees.

1935-1940
The Early Years:

In the farm’s early years, Roy Tuttle planted a variety of apples, including Grimes Golden, Rambo, and Delicious. By the late 1930s, the trees were yielding over 700 bushels of apples each year, most of which were sold to the wholesale markets in Indianapolis. The farm also grew other fruits, like peaches, plums, berries, and concord grapes. A dairy barn, built in 1885, was used to raise 15 jersey cows, along with pigs, hens, and a pony or two. When the Great Depression hit, the dairy barn was closed, and efforts were focused on expanding the orchard with more fruit trees.

1941-1959
The Tuttle Family and Farm Grows:

In 1941, Virginia Tuttle married her childhood sweetheart, Raymond Roney. Five years later, their first son, Tom, was born, and their second son, Mike, was born soon after in 1953. Both children grew up picking apples on the farm.

During these years, Tuttle Orchards, now a 35-acre fruit farm, was named a Gold Medal Orchard for growing apples ranked in the top 95% nationally. In 1958, Tuttle’s Stayman Winesap apples placed 2nd in the Indiana State Fair, beginning a 50-year tradition of award-winning apples and crops.

1960-1970
Transition to Retail:

In the early 1960s, Roy Tuttle began to sell more apples locally to schools and groceries, as well as visitors coming to the farm to get produce from his pick-up truck. The Tuttles opened a small retail store in front of the barn where Tillie and Virginia assisted customers in selecting varieties of apples. The family also purchased a cider press to sell their own cider for $1 a gallon.

In 1967, Raymond Roney began to offer school tours to the farm. Agriculture continued to prosper, as Roy Tuttle received a patent for the Stark Supreme Stayman Winesap apple. He sold the rights in exchange for a peach orchard, but to this day, the majority of Winesap apples grown in the US originate from Tuttle's patented strain.

1971-1979
Going Beyond Apples:

During the 1970s, Tom and Mike Roney both received degrees in Horticulture from Purdue University. After serving in the Vietnam War, Tom took over the running of the orchard when Roy Tuttle passed away in 1979. In 1982, Mike joined his brother as co-owner of the farm. The 70s and 80s brought the U-Pick era to Tuttles. Visitors flocked to the farm for strawberries, and Mike expanded the farm’s production of various crops.

The store continued to grow with new produce and additional hours. Helen, Mike’s wife, took over the school tour program. In the late 80s, Mike added 10,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses, expanding the bedding plant section, and the orchard developed a reputation for high-quality spring flowers.

Tuttles began to offer more fall activities in the 90s to meet popular demand, including the Agrimaze, the Kids’ Play Area, and the annual caramel apple festival. In 1994, the orchard received an award for best cider in the nation.

2000-Present
Continuing the Tradition:

With more visitors coming to the farm for the Tuttles experience, the fourth generation of the family started taking an active role in managing the orchards. The Farm Store expanded with hundreds of new products. In 2017, under Helen’s direction, the school tours served over 20,000 guests annually. Mike continued to increase vegetable production with the addition of high tunnel greenhouses which extended the length of the Tuttles growing season.

In 2002 and 2012, the farm continued to win awards for best cider in Indiana. And in 2020, Tuttles won 2nd place in a national sweet cider contest. Tom Roney passed away in 2017, but the family continues to focus on growing the farm and providing the best farm experience to visitors. In 2018, they celebrated the 90th anniversary of Tuttle Orchards.

From 2017 to today, the food service offerings at the farm have expanded to offer homemade donuts, a farm-to-table cafe, and expanded take-and-bake food offerings in our Farm Store, such as the famous chicken pot pies that are made fresh in their Cafe.

Tuttle Orchards Today:

The farm continues to grow and change under the direction of the next generation of leadership. Thomas Roney, 5th of Mike and Helen’s 7 children, oversees the production as the farm continues to pursue growing top quality apples, and Ruth Ann Roney, their eldest daughter, directs the retail aspects of the farm.

Tuttle Orchards remains passionate about pursuing new opportunities to provide families with the very best produce and family fun. Our goal is to be central Indiana’s favorite farm destination by serving the needs of our community, expanding our produce and food offerings, and providing fun, educational experiences that help connect people to agriculture.

Historical Archive

Tuttle History Booklet

80th Anniversary Celebration: The Tuttle Story
Indiana State Fair Masters: Tuttle Orchards
Photo Gallery