It’s September in Vermont. The maple trees are starting to blush red at their tops, the apple trees are laden with apples, and cold mornings are making us all rummage for our sweaters. You can hear kids hollering in the trees as they fill their bags with apples as the smell of cider donuts wafts through the air.
Shelburne Orchards has been watching all summer as other pick-your-own farms adapt to ensure everyone is safe while continuing to provide fresh local food and positive experiences. It has the advantage of space – 60 acres of apple trees for people to be outside and pick to their heart’s content.
The orchard store has been transformed into four drive-through farm stands selling cider, donuts, apples, brandy, pommeau and cider vinegar. The tractor pulled wagons are sitting this one out while enthusiastic apple pickers in colorful masks drive right into the rows of trees and park in the orchard spreading out into the wide expanse.
Despite the hot and dry summer the crop has not to suffered in large part due to diligent irrigation all over the orchard. Shelburne Orchard said the McIntosh apples are better than ever.
Orchard representatives said that it is different this year but they are grateful to be open and seeing the same familiar faces that come every year!
“Once you get out into the apple trees, smell the apples and the soil underfoot, feel that cool north wind while the September sun kisses your cheeks, you’ll feel like maybe this fall isn’t so different after all,” Shelburne Orchards said in a release.