A rare October Saturday without rain brought thousands of people to Green Bluff to pick apples, drink apple cider and choose the perfect carving pumpkin.
While this month’s soaking rain did wonders for his 22 varieties of apple trees, Jason Morrell of Walters’ Fruit Ranch was happy to see the bustling Apple Festival crowds Saturday.
“There’s always one weekend where it’s chaos,” he said. “It’s kind of fun, though. We enjoy it.”
Many apple orchards, including his, have seen a bumper crop this year, Morrell said. He sells a lot of apples and uses others to make his own apple cider, apple butter and apple pies.
“Whatever doesn’t get picked, Second Harvest will come in and get,” he said.
Violet Rudd visited Green Bluff with her family for the first time Saturday and stopped by Walters’ to let the kids try out some rides and games. “We’re just here to hang out, spend some time with family, pick some apples and eat some food,” she said.
“We came here for the pumpkins, mostly,” said her husband, Aaron Rudd.
Violet Rudd wasn’t sure if they would stop by another orchard or just spend the afternoon at Walters’. “We’re just taking it as it comes,” she said. “So far I really like it.”
Down the road at the High Country Orchard, owner Teri Story grows cherries and peaches. This time of year she sells apples, pumpkins, pears and corn raised by her neighbors. She also runs a cafe and a gift shop, and this year added more games to complement her mini-golf course and hay maze. Kids can take part in a ninja challenge, where they try to complete an obstacle course without touching the ground.
“It’s just down-home fun,” she said.
The games at High Country Orchard are free during the week and $3 per child or $10 per family on the weekends.
The Green Bluff orchards sell a variety of produce and ready-made items such as pies, jams and syrups.
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