Apple picking season was unofficially launched this weekend, with local orchards opening their doors for members of the public to pluck shiny red and green fruits right from the branch.
Adolphustown’s Spring Meadow Orchards kicked off the season with pony rides and a corn maze.
A cold wet spring followed by a hot dry summer presented a challenge for local apple growers.
“It was a difficult growing year, but we have a not bad apple crop,” said Mike Schenk, owner of Spring Meadow. “We have all the varieties, some we have a lot of, others there’s a little bit less of. The sweet corn and all the fruits and vegetables did well. We just had to irrigate and just had to work a little bit harder.”
Persistent rain early in the year made it difficult to get seeds in the ground for some crops, while also delaying the apple blossoms.
“Everybody was behind this spring but you do the best you can,” said Schenk. “That’s all you can do. It’s not a bad crop.”
September’s cool nights followed by sunny days help to give the apples their bright colours. This week’s in season varieties were Paula Red and McIntosh, with more expected to become available each weekend throughout the season, which runs until the end of October. Spring Meadows offers 26 total varieties. For more on the orchard visit www.SpringMeadowOrchards.ca.
Just up the Loyalist Parkway is Wynn Farms’ orchard, which is also in full swing. They’re currently offering Paula Red, Lobo and McIntosh varieties ready to be harvested, with more expected to be ripe in the coming weeks. A pirate themed corn maze has also been designed for this year, with moonlit corn mazes on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. This coming Saturday the orchard’s pumpkin patch will also be open. For more on Wynn Farms visit www.WynnFarms.ca.