State apple crop thrives in quantity and size

AFP Correspondent

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP (Oct. 15, 2015) — Apple growers in the northwest part of the state are experiencing a great season.
Bob Best of Best’s Fruit Farm said a few of his apples seem almost too big.
He is having a great season in every variety with large quantities and large apples.
Jeff Kolibas of Stonycroft Orchard in White Township said both his peach and apple crops were excellent this year. He attributes it to good pollination.
“The bees are working,” he said.
Kolibas bought Stonycroft five and a half years ago. He came from a small farm in Lower Mount Bethel Township, Pa., with no orchard, but he “read books and took classes and here we are.”
He is very proud of the Cox Orange Pippin apple, an 18th Century variety that sells out almost as soon as the apples ripen.
Stonycroft also features strawberry picking in June and then, at the end of the month, pick-your-own sweet and sour cherries. The orchard had plum and pear trees and Kolibas also sells vegetables and basic herbs. The farm store also features maple syrup from Pennsylvania, honey and jellies.
Dave Flintcroft of Brook Hollow Farm in Knowlton Township said some of his trees produced a large crop and others large apples.
Up on a hill farther north than Stonycroft or Bests, his farm did see a couple of days of frost in the later part of the spring which was good for the peaches.
Flintcroft has a big pick-your-own operation as do Devlin and Holly Mackey in White Township.
Holly Mackey said this is a great season with most of the trees producing an abundant crop.
Kolibas doesn’t have the hayrides Brook Hollow and Mackey’s does.
He said he prefers running a less complicated operation. He does allow families to picnic in the orchard.