Curtis Orchard reaches peak season

As the peak of the fall season approaches, locals and visitors of the C-U area are making their way to Curtis Orchard. There is something for everyone at this family owned business from apple picking, a bakery, and a pumpkin patch.


Photo: Jade Hilton

“This is what we call our bread and butter time of year,” said Chris Curtis the Administrative Manager at Curtis Orchard. “We see everyone from U of I students to teenagers to families with young children.

But some people, like Jeanette Leele, believe that Curtis Orchard’s success has a lot to do with the company’s family-like environment.

“It’s not much about preparing, it’s more about being a good host,” said Leele. “I treat every customer as if they are a guest in my home… so when you come in I’m gonna treat you like a guest.”

The family environment has had an impact on many of its customers. Hilda Oyango is a local of the Champaign area, and now a student at the U of I. Many of her childhood memories were made at Curtis Orchard.

“Growing up, Curtis Orchard was always the best field trip. We always came and got to make the  the apple ciders drinks… the donuts are really good too,” said Onyango.

As the fall season continues on Curtis Orchard will host a number of festive events while fulfilling their family friendly motto.

Reporting for Off the Shelf and Online, I’m Jade Hilton.

You can check out my video package on YouTube!


I had a great time filming this package. I have never been to Curtis Orchard, so I thought I would cover a story on it! I borrowed a TV camera so I could use one of the recording mics for my interviews. Unfortunately my tripod was kind of damaged, so I had to really focus on keeping the camera still. I tried to get a lot of shots in the pumpkin patch with the kids to make my footage playful and colorful. I was fortunate enough to interview Chris Curtis, and I think he provided a lot of useful information for my package. Overall I had a lot of fun with this project… and I most definitely tried the apple cider!

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