MAINE, USA — It's peak apple season in Maine. Hundreds of orchards across the state have fresh apples available for sale and pick-your-own.
Peak season runs from August through November, and when it starts to feel like fall, many flock to local orchards across the state.
"There's a sense of tradition. Apple picking in Maine is something you have to do at least once in the fall," said Emily Holmes, part-owner of Maine-ly Apples Orchard in Dixmont.
Holmes offers pick your own at her orchard. It's one of just hundreds of local orchards across the state. You can find the orchards closest to you by visiting MaineApples.Org.
That website allows you to search by location to find orchards nearby, as well as what types of apples you can find.
These few months are the busiest months of the year for business at all of these farms, and are critical for keeping the orchard running all year long.
"That's when we make all of our money and depend on customers to come. So of course we hope for nice weather on the weekend," said Holmes.
It's the same at many orchards across Maine. Apple picking season is also busy for those who don't offer pick your own, but make them available at unique farm stands like at Hillcrest Orchards.
"From August to Thanksgiving it's intense," said Mary Newey, a part owner of Hillcrest Orchards.
Both orchards say they've already seen many come from as far as Texas t oget a fresh Maine apple.
"Fresh picked apples taste 100 percent different than what you're getting at the grocery store," said Holmes.
A favorite for many is the tradition of going apple picking. Year after year, many visit the same orchards.
"Year to year, knowing that you're going to see the same people, and knowing what their favorite apples are and trying to get them what they want," said Holmes.
"Sometimes I'll have students that I had in school stop by to see me, and oh my is that nice to see," said Newey, who used to be a high school teacher.
That sense of community isn't just between customers however, but between orchards.
"All of us farmers and all of us producers are in this together, especially in a state like Maine," said Holmes.
Be sure to visit your local orchard this fall. Many also offer additional local seasonal food and crafts.