By Pam Harnden, Staff Writer
LIVERMORE — Two local orchards will be open for 17th Annual Maine Apple Sunday, Sept. 10.
Maine Apple Sunday is sponsored by the Maine Pomological Society. It signals the peak of apple harvest. Some summer apples are still available and main crops are now ready in many locations across the state.
Berry Fruit Farm, 361 Crash Rd., will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Owner Joel Gilbert said, “The apple crop is beautiful. The color is the best I’ve ever seen.”
The tree limbs are loaded with fruit, which is what an orchardist likes to see. There is large fruit and smaller fruit to meet all needs, he said
On Sunday, the farm will have bakery samples, farm tours, cider donuts and the U-Pick will be open.
Several apple varieties, including Zestar!, can also be purchased already picked.
In addition to apples and baked goods, visitors can purchase other fall specialties. A wide selection of winter squash, pumpkins, gourds and fall mums is available.
One interesting pumpkin is Silver Edge, a white and green variety known for the flavor of its seeds. The seeds are outlined in silver. They have a nutty flavor and are used in Latin American cooking, Gilbert said.
Melons and fresh peaches are also available.
“The peaches are phenomenal. There are two more varieties coming so we’ll have them right through September,” employee Wanda McDonald said.
Berry Fruit Farm’s fall hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 897-4767 or visit www.berryfruitfarm.com.
Boothby’s Orchard, 366 Boothby Rd. (Route 108), will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Visitors can pick apples, enjoy free wagon rides, tour the winery and sample cider and cheese. Guitarist Lindsey Montana will be performing. There will be apple wine tastings for those 21 or older with proof of age.
Pre-picked apples, corn, local honey, cheese and wine can be purchased. Also sold is unpasteurized cider in 2-quart mason jars.
Owner Rob Boothby said, “Dryness is getting to be a concern. We need two inches rain in two days. It could be a problem later on.”
The apples are sizing up. The crop is decent and maturing well, he said.
The trees at Boothby’s Orchard are mostly semi-dwarf or dwarf. They can be planted closer together.
Boothby said one block of standard trees takes up 30 acres for 720 trees. That number of semi-dwarf trees only needs about 1.5 acres. With a denser planting, even less space would be needed.
“When spraying, I can reach the whole tree. There is no scab in the top where I couldn’t get to,” he said.
At Boothby Orchard’s, hand painted signs point out the various varieties.
Boothby said, “Zestar! is an earlier ripening cousin of the Honey Crisp. It is sweeter than Macs or Cortlands.”
Boothby’s Orchard is open weekdays from 12-6 p.m. Hours on weekends and holidays are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 754-3500 or visit www.boothbysorchard.com.