Pick A Peck Of Apple Advice

Ideal for home use or small orchards. See other presses and supplies for apple pressing at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Apple season is upon us here in Ohio—but the first thing you need to do is find good apples! Although many farmer’s markets carry more than the ubiquitous Red Delicious, your best bet is to find a local orchard. Ideally, you want to be able to pick your own apples, so you can make sure you have enough for eating, pressing for cider, freezing, as applesauce, or for baking and pies.

Many farmstands, although offering excellent quality, can’t always supply the quantities needed by the home preservationist. If the farmstand is your only option, get to know your proprietors, and make arrangements for the quantities you need as early as you can.

Here in Wayne County Ohio, we have a wealth of apple varieties from which to choose. What many call ‘heritage’ or ‘heirloom’ apples have been grown for generations by local orchardists, and sold at Amish farm stands and pick-your-own orchards.

Poplar Produce Baskets are ideal for taking your apples home. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

If you know what you need, work with your orchardist—order early, and be prepared to pick up apples throughout the season as they ripen. If you haven’t done so already, contact your orchardist now, and see what’s available, and what you can reserve for your needs.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s 2010 Annual Report notes that apples are a good business in Ohio. Over 83,000 pounds of apples were produced in Ohio in 2010, the most current year for which statistics are available. Ohio ranks 9th nationally in apple production.

Ohio Apples, the growers’ association for Ohio apple farmers notes the following mainstream and traditional varieties, among others, are grown in Ohio: Jonathon, Law Rome, Stayman, Crispin, Criterion, Empire, Granny Smith, Melrose (For more information and a complete list, visit http://www.ohioapples.com/ohio_apples_useschart.htm) Each apple variety has strengths and weaknesses, so be sure you know what you’re buying. The chart notes which are best for eating, applesauce, pies, general baking and freezing.

Photo of Lehman’s east entrance peak by Andrew Bash.

If you’re visiting Lehman’s in Kidron, and planning to tour Amish Country, Ohio, don’t miss the three excellent production orchards listed below. Call to see what’s ripe, and to check hours.

Wayne County Orchards

Moreland Fruit Farm
1558 W. Moreland Road
Wooster, OH 44691

Marilyn Finney


May and Nov Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Closed Sun


Rittman Orchards
13624 Mt. Eaton Road
Doylestown, OH 44230

Dale Vodraska

Tues-Sat 9-7, Sun 11-5, Closed Mondays


Bauman Orchards
161 Rittman Road
Rittman, OH 44270

Dianna Bauman


Pick Your Own
apples to Oct. 11
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat 8:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

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