REGION — Although the crop is different his year, apple orchards in the area are open for the season with some offering U-Pick options.

In May, most orchards in the area and other parts of New England were hit with low temperatures when the apples were in bloom, which either damaged or destroyed them.

“The apples are smaller because of the freeze,” Richard Murphy, of Lane Road Orchard in New Sharon, said in a phone interview Friday, Sept. 8. “Two out of the 40 varieties I have lost their buds. I have a pretty good crop. The number and quality of apples is pretty good.”

Murphy opened his orchard to picking three weekends ago. He expects there will be apple picking up to Halloween and maybe beyond this year.

Lane Road Orchard is open weekends 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for picking or to buy apples already picked. Murphy has large signs on Route 2 to help people find his orchard.

More information is available on the orchard’s website or Facebook page.


Boothby’s Orchard and Farm Winery on Route 108 [Boothby Road] in Livermore is also open for the season. “Apple picking and wine tastings are available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for as long as we can,” owner Rob Boothby said Friday. “We are really light on Macs this year, have Cortlands and later will have Honeycrisp.”

The orchard had a 10% survival rate from the May freeze, did get a crop, Boothby said. “We have apples, we have been blessed,” he noted. “Size is pretty good, close to normal, but could be smaller this year.”

On Sundays, including Maine Apple Sunday on Sept. 17, there will be wagon rides [weather permitting], Boothby stated. Pastries, sheet pies and cheese will be available to buy at the orchard when it is open and the farmstand on Federal Road will have vegetables and other products for sale, Boothby stated.

With one price for picking, different varieties can be put in the same bag.

“The orchards are mowed, are nice, wheelchair accessible,” Boothby said. “They provide about a mile of off-road experience.”

For more information call 207-754-3500, visit the orchard’s website or Facebook page.


At Berry Fruit Farm in Livermore Falls, Saturday, Sept. 9, owner Joel Gilbert said his apple crop is moderate this year with good quality. Many Maine orchards have a good crop this year, Berry Fruit Farm’s should be good if the weather cooperates, he noted.

“Our area is a bit north, we were spared what some orchards experienced,” Gilbert stated. “I am very thankful. I thought we would see more disease. We did not. The rain might have exhausted the fungal spores in the ground [which can lead to scab]. The size might be a little smaller than in other years. Color is holding up fairly well.”

Berry Fruit Farm does not offer U-Pick, sells apples at its store on Route 4. The stand is not open Sundays, so will not be participating in Maine Apple Sunday, Gilbert noted.

“Overall, it should be a successful year,” he added.

For more information call 207-897-4767, visit the farm’s website or Facebook page.

Morrison Hill Orchard in Farmington was the only local orchard not affected by the May freeze. On Saturday, owner Jodi Hollingsworth said the wet summer did. have an impact.


“The crop is carrying sooty blotch, some scab because we couldn’t get out and spray,” she noted. “Wet weather breeds [fungal diseases]. It is aesthetic, the apple isn’t ruined or anything. There are plenty of apples to pick.”

The orchard is open for picking or purchasing apples and other products 4-7 p.m. Friday and 12-7 p.m. Saturday. It will be open 12-5 p.m. Sept. 17 for Maine Apple Sunday.

Morrison Hill Orchard has over 12 varieties of apples. It produces fresh and hard cider to sell too.

“MacIntosh-type apples are ready now,” Hollingsworth said.

For more information call 207-778-4945, visit the orchard’s website or Facebook page.

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