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Warm Day Spent Apple Picking in Susquehanna County

SILVER LAKE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Crisp weather certainly wasn’t in the forecast for Wednesday, but crisp apples? You bet. “I was holding on to summ...

SILVER LAKE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Crisp weather certainly wasn't in the forecast for Wednesday, but crisp apples? You bet.

"I was holding on to summer really, really late this year, but fall has come now, and it's time to pick apples and put up little straw people on your porch and get pumpkins, so it's fall!" said Donna Hill.

At Russell Farms near Brackney, they've been getting in the fall spirit since the end of August. Owner Mike Russell says some apple varieties fared better than others this growing season.

"They were a little bit later coming along in ripening because we were wet, but we've dried out since and they're finishing better than I expected," Russell said.

The warm weather throughout September has kept the orchard full.

"We probably had more cars in the parking lot this past weekend than we've ever had."

Russell says the most popular apple is the Honeycrisp, and it certainly seems like it as some of these trees are already almost empty. But if you commit to the search hard enough, you'll be able to find a perfect Honeycrisp apple.

"They're kind of a rare apple in a way. I mean, you see them more often these days, but they're kind of pricey in the store. But they're so juicy and sweet, they just kind of splash in your mouth. They're a great apple," Russell said.

Winne Preston opts for the Empire apples.

"The best flavor for eating, pies, and cooking!"

And the difference between apples you pick off a tree and apples you buy at the supermarket?

"About three weeks. It's much fresher if you pick it yourself," Hill said.

"I'm on a trip to Kentucky next Thursday, and it's going down to my kids because they can't get this there," Preston said.

The apples at Russell Farms are also used to make donuts and cider. During the holiday season, the farm offers cider in bulk to keep cider lovers fully stocked until next season.

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