A working farm located a short distance outside of Ponyville. It is owned by Granny Smith, who shares it with her grand-ponies Applejack, Big McIntosh and Apple Bloom who help her keep the farm running.
Crops and Critters
As any good farm owned by an Apple family member, Sweet Apple Acres is known for its delicious apples; Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Braeburn, you name it, it's growing somewhere in the orchards of Sweet Apple Acres.
Apples aren't all they grow, they have rows of peach, pear, plum and crab-apple trees also. Along with the tree-grown fruits, Sweet Apple Acres grows strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Blueberries are the most recent addition to the crops on the farm; introduced by Applejack after she found out they were a favorite of her friend Twilight Sparkle.
The Apple Family on Sweet Apple Acres also tends crops of vegetables such as carrots, celery, lettuces, kale, peppers (sweet & hot), radishes, squash, and potatoes. They also harvest a small crop of feed corn, oats and wheat. Of course, there are several acres each year devoted to growing hay and alfalfa.
Living on the farm are a herd of about three dozen dairy cows, a dozen sheep, four goats, twenty-four chickens and one rooster.
Life on the Farm
Living on a farm isn't for everyone and even Applejack had to spend some time away to truly appreciate the joy and wonder that an agrarian life can bestow. It's a good, honest lifestyle. Up with the sun and down with the sun makes for some long and strenuous days that the earth ponies of Equestria are well suited for.
A typical morning starts off with the crowing of the rooster, then it's out to barn to let the cows and sheep out to pasture, feed the chickens and gather up their eggs. After the critters are seen to, then they sit down for a hearty breakfast. The rest of the day is spent maintaining the farm, crops and orchards, churning up milk to make butter and cheese and making small harvests of fruits and vegetables for consumption and to sent out to market. The critters are brought back to the barn in the late afternoon, fed and the cows milked. Once that is done, then it's back around the table by sunset for a well deserved dinner.
By no means do Applejack, Big McIntosh, Granny Smith and Apple Bloom do all the work on the farm. It is understood that up to a half-dozen or more mares and stallions from Ponyville work on the farm as "Hired Hooves." There's also reliable and capable Winona to help out with herding and watching over the critters. During harvest season, also known as Applebuck Season, the number of ponies working on the farm quadruples as normal citizens of Ponyville, and migrant members of the Apple family clan, descend on Sweet Apple Acres to help.
Once the harvest is done the attention changes from growing to preserving as much food as they can to stockpile for the winter. Pickling, preserves, jelly and jams, and grinding up the grains to make flour all happen in the three months preceding winter.
Named Critters on the farm:
- Cows: Mooriella, Bessie, Maible, Clarice
- Goats: Max, Maxine, Maynard
- Sheep: Wilma, Suzy, Winifred, Shiloh, Weatherby, Samantha
- Pigs: Peter, Paul, Mary
The Business Side of Farming
This section includes the business deals and contracts that have recently been introduced to raise funds to maintain and expand Sweet Apple Acres, Sweet Apple Acres Market in Ponyville, and the overarching Apple Family Farms Agricultural Cooperative (AFF on the Manehattan Stock Exchange.)
Recently, Big McIntosh has been working diligently to market Sweet Apple Acres fruit and produce to outside markets. As a result Sweet Apple Acres has the following clients:
- Princess Celestia & Princess Luna: 2 Bushels of Apples (Variety) weekly, plus a basket each of other seasonal fruits.
- Maremoto's Restaurant in Fillydelphia: 2 Bushels of Apples (Variety) weekly.
- Charlie Trotters in Manehattan: 2 Bushels of Apples (Variety) weekly.
- Cat Corral's at TackyLand Resort: 2 Bushels of Apples (Variety) weekly.
Sweet Apple Acres also supplies fruits, produce and baked goods to the Sweet Apple Market in Ponyville which is run by Apple Fritter, one of the Apple Family cousins.
In addition to all varieties of apples and seasonal fruits, Sweet Apple Acres (and the cooperative) has recently begun to branch out into other products:
- CaraMilk: A caramel-apple-flavored milk product - consisting mostly of milk. There is a simple, healthy, flavored milk product marketed to young ponies, and a Performance Drink marketed towards athletes and other ponies who do high-intensity physical work. In addition to containing all the nutrients that a Soy Oat Performance Shake has, it is also guaranteed to taste ten times better. Naturally, the Performance Drink version is in direct competition with said Shakes.
- POWERApple: Unlike CaraMilk, POWERApple does not have a foal-friendly variant. It is an energy drink marketed exclusively to athletes and other hard-working ponies, to help them POWER through tough workouts and long workdays. The base component of POWERApple is apple juice.
Other Farms in the Co-op
- Precious Plum Estates: Another farm in Ponyville, Precious Plum Estates specializes in stone fruits, but does also grow apples. The rivalry between Sweet Apple Acres and Precious Plum Estates is a mostly-friendly one, and both farms are instrumental in organizing the yearly Sisterhood Social.
- Sveet Apple Acres and Schweet Apple Acres: Two large, corporate farming interests based near Manehattan, these two rivals spend more time and effort sniping at each other via shady business practices or frivolous law suits than actually running good apple farms. Both of them resent Sweet Apple Acres' close relations with Princess Celestia and would happily sabotage any efforts by the Apple family. Fortunately, they are both comprised largely of bumbling fools.
(This section saved to log notable events that have occurred at Sweet Apple Acres and provide a abbreviated history of the farm.)