Apples are back in Lancaster County’s orchards.
Throughout Pennsylvania, the apple crop’s expected to top 11.5 million bushels, up 2 percent from 2018, according to 2019 Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference.
Here in Lancaster County, lots of sunny days and not too much rain pushed the apple crop at Cherry Hill Orchards about two weeks earlier than usual, says Phyllis Shenk, co-manager of the orchard near New Danville. That means the earliest varieties like EarliGold and Ginger Gold are already gone from the orchard’s pick-your-own trees.
Now it’s time for the popular Honeycrisp variety, which was ripe enough to be ready in the last days of August at several pick-your-own orchards throughout the region. Also ready are Jonamac, Cortland and Gala apples.
While there are many grocery stores, farm markets and stands selling apples, here are five orchards in the region where you can pick your own:
Masonic Village Farm Market
Where: 310 Eden View Road, Elizabethtown
Season: Picking for 18 varieties of apples has started and continues through late October.
Cost: 85 cents/lb.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and noon to 3 p.m., Sunday.
Details: https://www.mvfarmmarket.com or 717-361-4520.
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Cherry Hill Orchards Outlet
Where: 400 Long Lane, Lancaster
Season: Picking for varieties like Gala, Summer Rambo and Zester and have started. More than 25 apple varieties will be available through mid-October with each harvest lasting 1-2 weeks.
Cost: Apples are $2/lb. up to 12 pounds; $1.50/lb. up to 21 pounds and $1/lb. for more.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, closed
Details: cherryhillorchards.com or 717-872-9311.
Where: 390 Orchard Road, Mohnton
Season: Picking for varieties like honeycrisp and gala have started. More than 40 apple varieties will be available through mid-November with each harvest lasting about three weeks.
Cost: Pick-your-own apples are $1.75/lb. up to 20 pounds and $1.25/lb. for 20 pounds and more.
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, closed.
Details: brecknockorchard.com or 717-445-5704.
Where: 40 Fruit Lane, Morgantown
Season: Picking for varieties like Honeycrisp, Gala and Macintosh have started. More than 30 apple varieties will be available through mid- November.
Cost: On Saturdays and holidays, wristbands ($2 per person for pickers older than 12) are required. Apples are $1.99/lb for up to 24 pounds and $1.39/lb for more. Honeycrisp apples are $1.99/lb.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last entry at 5:30 p.m.); Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Last entry at 3:30 p.m.) Closed Sunday.
Details: www.weaversorchard.com or 610-856-7300.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Where: 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson
Season: Picking for more than 30 varieties of apples, many of which are historic, starts Aug. 31 and continues through October.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Details: www.nps.gov/hofu or 610-582-8773.