The History of Coffing Brothers Orchard –
In 1907, JD Coffing, Homer Coffing, and Fred Coffing bought the land near Covington, Indiana with a vision in mind. This vision consisted of fields full of lush apple trees and crisp, sweet apples perfect for eating and baking. In 1910, the brothers planted these apple trees and their vision became a reality as our family’s apple orchard business got its start. Since then, Coffing Brothers Orchard has seen over four generations of change. From a stationary spraying system and storage crates to a tractor-pulled spraying system and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, our techniques for storing and cleaning the apples have improved over the years. The owners of Coffing Brothers have changed quite a bit too. Family business partners came and went over time to create their own legacies. Fred Coffing, one of the original founders, even went on to build the Coffing Hoist in 1918, a device used for lifting heavy cargo that is still used worldwide today!
As time has gone by, Coffing Brothers Orchard has seen both success and hardship. During the peak of harvest time in 1949, lightning struck one of our storage buildings. A roaring fire started and destroyed most of the tractors, trucks, picking and packing equipment, and all of the apple storage buildings. The only thing that was saved from the fire was a home located next to the storage area. However, with a lot of help from community members, who loaned trucks, tractors and other equipment, a building to store and pack the apples was built within a month of the fire.
Today, of course, you can’t even tell there was a fire. However, other relics of our past are still present at the apple orchard. Two identical brick houses built for JD Coffing and Homer Coffing are still standing at the orchard, and they are still being lived in today! In 1931, a refrigeration system was installed in one of the storage areas, and the remnants of this system can still be seen in some of our new storage systems.
Our orchard continued to see changes, as another generation of Coffing brothers took the reins. Joe H., Robert, and John Coffing started running the orchard in the 1940s and 1950s. They continued to run the orchard until the 1990s and 2000s, and during their reign many great changes were made. In 1977, a new packing and storage facility was built, and you can still see this building today! As recently as 2012, we got an electronic computerized packing line with advanced sorting technology to ensure only the best apples make it to the grocery store.
Now run by Roger, Greg, Tim, Joe, and Mark Coffing, Coffing Brothers Orchard is one of the largest apple orchards in the state of Indiana with 150 acres of apples located on 1,400 acres of farm land. We harvest approximately 100,000 bushels of apples a year. These apples are packed under the ABC brand and shipped to grocery stores throughout the Midwest. We strive to grow only quality, healthy apples for our customers, and this is reflected in our USDA certifications and our state-of-the-art methods for apple cleaning, storing, and transportation.
We are open to sell apples at our store in Covington, Indiana from the end of August to the end of May depending on the size of the apple crop. We grow many delicious varieties of apples, including Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Grimes Golden, Red Delicious, Early Fuji, Mutsu, Jonagold, Ida Red, Rome Beauty, Stayman Winesap, Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Cripps Pink.
If you’re interested in our delicious apples or would like to learn more about our orchard, come pay us a visit! We would love to answer your questions, and our store is located right inside our packing facility so you can see how the apples are processed and stored for yourself!