And yes, it was named after York, Pa., when it was developed in 1820 in Hellam Township, according to The Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program.
Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top six apple-producing states in the nation, making it an ideal place to pick your own apples, and you can choose from more than 20 varieties.
Before heading to the local apple orchard, think about how you plan on using your apples. Applesauce? Try the Jonathan. Salads? Pick the Golden Delicious, because they don’t brown as quickly. Snacking? The Red Delicious, Fuji or Cameo.
But beware — don’t expect to find every variety as you’re picking. Some harvests, such as the McIntosh, might be over come you-pick season.
Nancy Blevins at Blevins Fruit Farm in Stewartstown says especially this year, everything is coming in early.
“Everything has been running about a week to 10 days earlier,” Blevins said. “(The apples) have to be harvested when they’re ready.”
Mary Sue Shaw, owner of Shaw Orchards in Stewartstown, agreed the orchards started with strawberries coming in about two weeks earlier than usual. Typically, it would host apple-picking through the month of October, but she doesn’t think that will be the case this year.
“Once they bloom, the clock is ticking,” Shaw said of the apple trees. She predicted the season will wrap up by mid-October this year. So start early, and bring the family with you to harvest the fruit doctors have been recommending for years.
Check out this listing for a few places that offer pick-your-own apples, plus wagon rides, mazes, picnic areas and other family-friendly fun.
Pick-your-own farmsBlevins Fruit Farm
Where: 16222 W. Liberty Road, Hopewell Township
When: End of September into October
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays
For details: 717-993-2885 or search for Blevins Fruit Farm on Facebook
Boyer Nurseries & Orchards
Where: 405 Boyer Nursery Road, Franklin Township, Adams County
When: September through October
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
Extras: Evergreen maze, wagon rides for school groups
For details: 717-677-8558, www.boyernurseries.com
Where: 8773 Yellow Church Road, Springfield Township
When: End of August through October
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays
Extras: Hayrides on weekends
For details: 717-428-2036 or www.brownsorchards.com
Hollabaugh Brothers Inc. Fruit Farm and Market
Where: 545 Carlisle Road in Butler Township, Adams County
When: Labor Day through Columbus Day
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays
Extras: Wagon rides the first two weekends in October; apple-picking family photos Sept. 29 (rain date Oct. 6)
For details: 717-677-9494 or www.hollabaughbros.com
Where: 522 E. Mount Airy Road, Monaghan Township
When: Labor Day weekend through October
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays
Extras: Wagon rides, picnic and playground
For details: 717-432-2544 or www.paulusorchards.com
Where: 21901 Barrens Road South, Hopewell Township
When: End of August through mid-October
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
Extras: Wagon rides by an antique tractor
For details: 717-993-2974 or www.shaworchards.com
Places to visit
Stop by the National Apple Museum, 154 W. Hanover St., Biglerville, where exhibits include early picking, packing and shipping of fruit; early orchard photographs and more. It’s open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through October. For details, visit www.nationalapplemuseum.com.
National Apple Harvest Festival, held during the first two weekends in October at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, Route 234, west of Arendtsville. At the festival, you’ll find apple cookies, apple syrup, apple cider — plus other food vendors, craft vendors, and more. For details, visit www.appleharvest.com.
Roll the apple upward off the branch and give a little twist. Don’t pull straight away from the tree. (You don’t want to pick the bud that will be next year’s apple.)
Don’t shake or bend the branches, which could make apples fall or break the branch.
Don’t pick up apples that are already on the ground.
Never climb the trees.
Pick all the apples that you can on your tree before going to another tree.
Place them in your container gently or they will bruise and go bad quicker.
Types of apples
Cameo: A modern variety similar to Red Delicious
Cortland: Great for eating raw and baking in pies; only a hint of tartness
Empire: Ideal for eating fresh
Fuji: Sweeter and crispier than most apple varieties; also have a longer shelf life; great for snacking
Gala: Great for snacking
Golden Delicious: All-purpose apple — suitable for packing, eating raw, baking, making applesauce; flesh doesn’t darken as quickly as that of other apples, making it good for salads
Honeycrisp: Crispy and juicy with a mild, sweet honey flavor; use for eating and cooking
Jonathan: Use for eating or making applesauce; not a good choice for baking because it loses its shape
Jonagold: Honey-tart flavor and crispy; good for eating raw or cooking
Pink Lady: Sweet-tart flavor; good for eating raw and baking; it’s a registered-trademark apple
Red Delicious: Most popular variety in U.S.; best eaten raw, when cooked it loses most of its flavor
Rome beauty: Best used in cooking; taste is too bland for eating raw
York: Best for baking; it holds its shape and is neither too sweet nor tart when cooked
The Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program recommends storing apples in the refrigerator to slow ripening and maintain flavor.