EFFORT, Pa. — More than 30 varieties of apples hang on the trees at Heckman Orchards near Effort.
From a distance, they look great, but owner Mark Heckman says as you get closer, you'll notice their imperfections.
"This is some of the damage the frost and freeze have done to the apple," said Heckman.
Because of freezing temperatures in May, the orchard will not offer pick-your-own apples this season.
"We had some customers who are disappointed, and I'm disappointed myself because it's just to let the people come up and tour our orchard and see that we actually do grow all the stuff here," Heckman said.
This isn't the first time this season they had to cancel pick-your-own. In May, just after the freeze, Heckman made the difficult decision to cancel pick-your-own strawberries.
He says the frost and freeze really did a number on the crops.
"They got all kinds of deformities and everything from the freeze," Heckman said. "It just froze the seeds and stuff inside the apple, and then it didn't form its correct size and its correct shape."
The apples that Heckman doesn't plan to sell at the market are not going to waste. In fact, they're going towards something much sweeter.
"We're going to pick everything that's on the trees, and we run them through our grading system, and so whatever is sellable we'll pick out, and whatever's not, we'll take over to the cider press and make some delicious cider for it," said Heckman.
While it's been a tough year for some crops, others are thriving.
"We try our best to be diversified, so we're not depending all on one crop. So, what hurt the apples and everything else with the rain, we've had our best tomato, pepper, other crops, vegetables, sweet corn. Everything helped tremendously this summer, so hopefully it all evens out," Heckman said.
You can get your apple cider fix at Heckman Orchards from now through December.