LIVERMORE — Bright red apples hanging on trees at Boothby’s Orchard in Livermore, and many more orchards throughout the state, were just in time for Maine Apple Sunday.
Organized by the Maine State Pomological Society’s for 17 years, Apple Sunday kicks off the beginning of apple season, and as sixth generation orchard owner Rob Boothby said, “the launch of fall.”
Boothby’s participated in its third Apple Sunday, and Boothby was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s fun and rewarding,” his wife, Denise, said. “A good opportunity to celebrate local heritage.”
Groups of families walked through rows and rows of dazzlingly crimson Macintosh, Cortland, Gala, Paula Red and Zestar varieties. Boothby’s also grows Honey Crisp, which generally get picked in mid-October.
Maine Apple Sunday is a good way to get people thinking about apples,” Boothby said.
Apples weren’t the only thing on people’s minds.
“There’s also wine for mom and dad,” Heather Lowe of Winthrop said.
Lowe said she “made a day of it” with her husband, Robert, and her two children, Peter and Eli, who Lowe said “had a great time.”
The Lowe family moved to Winthrop a month ago from Tennessee, and Heather said she is used to grape wines. The apple wines from Boothby’s are different, she said, and she bought two to take home.
“Now I have something new and unique to offer my guests,” Lowe said.
For the children, there was tractor rides, croquet, sweet apple cider and friendly cows like Milky Way, Glassy Duck and Caroline, with swinging tails and snorting snouts.
For everyone, there was live music by Lindsey Montana.
Denise Boothby said he comes every year.
Boothby’s also produces grass-fed beef, silver queen corn and cider, not to mention their own grapes for their Maine Marquette wine, aged in barrels made of oak. All the produce was available for purchase, along with their three varieties of white apple wine.
Folks that strolled through the orchard could pick apples and buy them for $1 per pound.
The best part about pick-your-own apples? The consumer gets their product directly from the source, with variety and personal selection.
“We let the people decide which apples are ready,” Rob Boothby said.
Eli Parker of Winthrop snacks on a McIntosh apple at Boothby’s Orchard & Farm in Livermore during Maine Apple Sunday. Parker, 16 months, picked apples with his sister, Bella, mother, Emily, and father, Andrew.
Arthur Hayford of Livermore drives a wagon full of apple pickers past a herd of Hereford cattle at Boothby’s Orchard & Farm in Livermore during Maine Apple Sunday.
Adney Boothby, 8, listens to musician Lindsey Montana play the guitar at Boothby’s Orchard & Farm in Livermore during Maine Apple Sunday. Boothby is one of four children of farm owners, Denise and Rob Boothby.
Emily Townsend of Farmington lifts her son, Dustin, 5, up to pick an apple at Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner on Maine Apple Sunday. Jasmine Townsened, 10, is at right.