From left, Ricker Hill Orchards’ Jeff Timberlake, Harry Ricker and Andy Ricker.

TURNER — The Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association has named Ricker Hill Orchards the 2017 Producer of the Year.

Ricker Hill has primarily been known for its apples, with orchards that spread across seven Maine towns from Turner to Bridgton. 

Founded in 1803, the business is rich in family history. Don Ricker, seventh-generation owner, is 81 years young and still works every day alongside family business partners. In the early 2000s the Rickers opened their farm stand, featuring a bakery, u-pick apple orchards, a disc golf course, a corn maze, sugar shack, bounce houses and other features.

In 2014, they launched a line of hard ciders and opened a tasting room in Turner. Most recently, they have purchased and integrated a new cider press into their operation that is capable of producing more than 1,000 gallons an hour.

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