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It's time to pick apples -- the crop is good

It's time to pick apples -- the crop is good

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What is one of the things that scream fall? Apples. Keep up with the fall tradition of picking apples with the whole family.

Autumn Grove Orchard is ready for its eighth season of apple picking. The season runs from September through October.

Stephanie Heger, one of the owners, said they first planted apple trees in 2012. She said they opened the orchard in the fall of 2013.

Heger said she and her husband weren’t planning on doing an orchard, but they wanted to do something around their acre of land.

“I made the mistake of saying, off the cuff, ‘Well, I sell apples,’ and he went and researched everything,” Heger said. “We kind of fell into it.”

The Hegers’ plan to have an orchard took a few years to materialize. Getting the tree and preparing the land was the first step.

“Ordering a thousand trees takes longer than just to grabbing a couple at your home improvement stories,” Heger said.

While the first few years they did soft openings for the season, Heger said business has picked up over the years.

”It does take a year or two for the trees to establish and pick up production,” Heger said. “We basically started with just putting a sign out on the roadway.

“It’s a lot of fun. I like the social aspect of it. We have a lot of returning customers, and we get to see kids and families grow as they come out every year.”

Heger said when it comes to picking apples, they have three different bags, so visitors can get their money’s worth.

The orchard is a nice quick stop. If families want to do a day of picking, they can do that, too.

“I think everyone really appreciates a nice family activity that they can do,” Heger said.

Autumn Grove is also a place where people come to hang out, take some photos, and come to their Kids Day event every October.

Heger said this was a good year for apples.

The first apples they will have available will be Buckeye Gala, Ruby Mac, and Honeycrisp. More apples will be available as the season continues.

Honeycrisp, the most popular apples at the orchard, sell out fast, Heger said.

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