By Jan Carabeo

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — People may be thinking all things pumpkin at this time of year, but apples are really shining in Pennsylvania this season. As orchards in Pennsylvania are having a good season, one Delaware County farm is having its best year to date.

linvilla apple picking delaware county

When it comes to apples, everyone has a favorite. For Sophie Seizer, it’s all about the Granny Smiths.

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“I kind of like the Granny Smith because they’re sour and I like sour stuff,” she told CBS3.

Others are more traditional.

“Definitely sweet and definitely red. No green,” one woman said with a laugh.

While some keep their eyes on the final prize.

“I do, I do like apple pie,” one man said.

But no matter the color or the form for that matter, it all starts here at Linvilla Farms in Media. Norm Schultz, the farm manager, sure knows how to grow them.

“We’re real excited about our apple crop this year. It’s been the biggest in Linvilla’s history,” he said.

That’s right, the biggest yield ever. Schultz said much of the credit goes to Mother Nature herself.

“The bloom this year was the biggest ever. The weather was perfect, and the fruit set fantastic,” he said.

A changing climate is making this outcome more and more difficult to come by.

linvilla apple picking delaware county

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Schultz said, “Every winter, as we’ve been seeing, these warmer and warmer winters are making the trees bloom earlier.”

At times, they’ve started blooming in April instead of May, putting the fragile flowers at greater risk of a devastating freeze.

“And when that happens, the flowers are killed, the flower equals the fruit and then you’re out of production,” he said. “In 2020, in the spring, the trees bloomed early and all the flowers froze. We had almost no apple crop last year.”

In fact, 2020 was the worst year ever for apples at the Media farm. Linvilla wasn’t even open for pick-your-own on weekends last October.

“It was as bad as it could get. But this year, as life balances out, it’s as good as it can get,” he said.

This spring, blooms were tremendous, and the bees had pleasant 65 to 75 degree temperatures to pollinate. Ready to pick now? Gold rush apples and the aptly-named pink ladies.

The pink lady is a really versatile variety. Not only is it great to eat out of hand, but it’s also really tasty to bake into a pie too.

“These are all great flavorful apples that a lot of people aren’t familiar with because they’re fairly new to Pennsylvania. Come on out give it a try,” Schultz said.

Because this year’s crop is so robust, Linvilla expects to have apples ready to pick at least through mid-November.

 

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