Niagara Gazette —
“The public are not experienced pickers, they usually pick one and let one fall to the ground,” she said. “And then that apple is only good for juice, at most. It goes from being a fresh apple to only worth a couple of cents. Every one you pick, there’s one on the ground.
“When you pick apples, if you’re not sure how to do it, it’s OK to ask. You don’t just pull on the apple, you actually sort of twist it off. When you pull it, that’s what makes the branch shake, that’s what causes the waste.”
In addition to respect and careful picking, an important thing to remember when heading out for day in the orchard is to dress for the conditions.
“Don’t wear flip flops; you’re going to be out in the field,” Murphy said. “Dress properly. In the fall, it gets chilly. A lot of people come inadequately dressed.”
Vizcarra has also seen this as an issue.
“Be prepared for the weather,” she said. “ Sometimes they come in nice little shoes, and it is an orchard.”
A family day trip
While apple-picking can be the star of the show this time of year, local orchards may also offer such further draws as cider, already-picked fruit — and other produce — gift stores, school tours and more.
Among other things, Blackman Homestead Farms offers a petting zoo, straw maze, fresh turkeys — order now for Thanksgiving — and local maple syrup and honey, while Murphy Orchards has a country store, a tea room and tours (including one examining its Underground Railroad heritage). Becker Farms offers everything from fresh-baked goods at an on-site bakery to fall festivals — with haunted Halloween festivities — beverages from Vizcarra Vineyards and Becker Brewing, private events and more.