Apple picking has arrived and growers say trees are full

Apple picking has arrived and growers say trees are full

Published Sept. 16, 2023 5:45 p.m. ET

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It was a perfect day for apple picking with growers’ saying that despite a slow start, the trees have filled up.

The sunshine and warm temperatures had cars lined up to get into Apple Land Station, east of London, Ont., Saturday afternoon.

While for most, the goal is gathering apples for snacks.

But for Apple Land spokesperson Julien Malchesky, Apple Land Station prides itself on creating a family experience, “We have a store. We have a fun place for kids, a petting zoo, a corn maze.”

As was the case with many crops, the weather created a bit of uncertainty for apple growers throughout the summer.

“We had a dry spring to start so it was a bit of a slow start, a bit of a sketchy start,” said Apple Land Station co-owner Dan Muzylowsky.

He says the periods of heavy rains in July and August that caused trouble for some crops actually helped the apples, “As soon as those rains started coming, things just started blossoming and booming in the orchard. Trees were healthy, the size of the fruit was moving well, and we’re to the point now where things are finishing very well.”

For many visitors, a trip to the orchard in the fall is an annual tradition, but that tradition now includes selfies in the sunflower patch.

Ashleigh Chatten-Bushell visited from Tillsonburg on Saturday, along with her husband and children, Ana and Archer, “We’re here more than once every year because there’s lots of stuff to do. The kids love the sand hill. He loves the train. We love going out to pick apples.”

Muzylowsky said he, his sister, and brother, have now taken the reigns of the operation from their father who started the orchard in 1986.

“Dad kind-of wanted us to step off the farm and see what the real world is like. We work off the farm as well but, growing up in this, why would you not want to carry it on, right?” said Muzylowsky.

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