The rock-star, cold-hardy apple from Minnesota.
About Cummins Nursery
We are a small fruit tree nursery in New York apple country. Since 1994, we have shipped trees to orchards of all sizes in the Lower 48 states. Are you a backyard hobbyist, craft cidermaker, or professional grower? You can order fruit trees from our online inventory. You can also order rootstocks and scionwood to graft your own trees, or we can make custom trees for you.
"Fruit trees for everyone" is our motto. How lovely would it be to see an orchard in every yard?
That would take a very big nursery! We started small and we are still small. The saplings grow on the back acres of our U-pick place, Indian Creek Farm in Ithaca, NY, and we grow thousands of trees each year, not millions like the big operators. We still plant each tree from a makeshift trailer pulled behind a trusty old tractor, and pat down the dirt with our feet.
But these days Cummins Nursery feels big to us. We have a sturdy barn to store your trees and solar panels on the roof. There is a deer fence around the crop and conservation protections on the land. We even have a monthly fruit tree newsletter that goes out most months. Here's how the boss, Steve Cummins, tells the story at the close of 2020...
OUR TREE BARN is 150’ long and 71’ wide. It used to be 40’ wide, then 55’ and now 71’. We are building a new shipping room in a logical place at one end of the tree storage and next to the office. Before that the shipping room was the front porch of a different barn. Before that it was an uninsulated, rented cinder block building. On December 2, 2020, Tino and I were standing in the center of our barn. There are no windows. It’s kept just above freezing. The walls are foil-backed insulation and the only bits of color are the thousands of tree labels attached to thousands of trees in bins. It looks like the inside of a giant microwave oven.
“It’s beautiful,” said Tino.
“It is,” I replied with a catch in my throat. “We’ve come a long way.”
I feel like Cummins Nursery has arrived. My Dad, Dr. James Cummins, my Mom, Cindy Cummins, and I started the nursery in 1994 in Geneva, NY. That first digging season scarred me for life. We got 18” of snow in early November. We dug trees in the snow until the ground froze in late December. There were only three of us digging. Somehow, we managed to dig 25,000 trees in that seven weeks. This past fall, in 2020, we dug 45,000 trees in five days with eighteen people. It was fun. Nobody was scarred.
Back in the 20th century, inventory was managed on a paper ledger and the office was a landline phone at Dad and Mom’s house. We would print a few thousand catalogs each year and put them in the mail. We never sold out because we could not keep an accurate inventory, and we were not able to reach a wide audience. In 1998, my brother John, built our first web site. No more hardcopy catalogs. It had a great run of 22 years, and it served us well, but now is time to retire it into the Smithsonian for Jurassic Technology. RIP old friend.
Somehow you have arrived here now. You are with us on our new web site. Congratulations, you’ve come a long way too!
Thank you from everyone, past and present, at Cummins Nursery.
Steve, Tony, Pops, Dad, Cindy, Jen, Wilton, Dennis, Keith, Josh, Alice, Tino, Owen, Tommy, Patrick, Kitchens, Suzzane, Greg, Emma, Kelsey, Alan, Waldo, Mauro, Laura, Robert, James, John, Joe Nick, Surik, Dozer Dan, Sam, Dirk, Richard, Maureen, Leila, Jeff, Sabrina, and many others...
A few things we're loving right now...
A late-blooming, extremely cold-hardy, freestone peach.
A bittersharp English cider variety.
A sweet-tart Morello-type cherry from Hungary.