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The Core of the Apple: Biglerville and the Adams County Orchards

Believe it or not, the history of apples is closely intertwined with that of mankind’s. Thousands of years ago, the goddess of chaos, Eris, started the famous Trojan War by tossing an apple into a private wedding. While never actually specified, the forbidden fruit in the biblical Garden of Eden was never specified until John Milton’s revolutionary epic poem Paradise Lost was published in 1667 and depicted Eve taking a bite from an apple. And the apple once journeyed across stormy seas with Europeans and into the unfamiliar but incredibly fertile soil of the New World. This October, celebrate the unrealized history of the apple fruit that stretches back millennia. Head out among rows and rows of apple trees among the natural beauty of fall foliage season and pick as many as you like. Pennsylvania has plenty of them.

Pennsylvania is one of America’s leading producers of apples, ranked fourth among the states of the second-best producer of apples. Bested only by China, our state contributes a significant amount to a multi-billion dollar apple industry that exports to Mexico, Canada, India, and other nations that don’t have the temperate orchards and rich soil of the United States that give apple trees the delicious fruit. The very heart of this all-natural American industry is right next door, in Adams County, Pennsylvania. This county alone produces five million bushels of apples for Pennsylvania’s 80 million dollar annual income on apples, and every single county in Pennsylvania is growing and harvesting apples.

Biglerville in Adams County, PA, which is known as Apple Country USA, is famous for the five million bushels of apples produced by this single county as well as the National Apple Museum. Use this web resource to find the best, and closest, orchard for you or your family to pick your own apples. The museum is open May through October of each year, Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM and Sundays from 1PM to 4PM. Tours and exhibits include information about how the apple industry started here in PA and how it continued, and continues, to grow throughout the years. You’ll also get to see a recreated general store, and 19th century kitchen. Spend the rest of the day searching for one of Adams County’s many farmers’ markets, too! Said to be one of the best around, Hollabaugh Bros. is a family-owned farm and market that also is a beautiful you-pick orchard for Red and Golden Delicious Apples. Visit the website for more information about picking your own apples this season. A complete list of farmers’ markets, provided by the National Apple Museum, can be viewed at http://www.nationalapplemuseum.com/grower-farm-markets.html. So pick one on your way into or out of town, and get some fresh, local produce from Apple Country USA.

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple is connected with that of man.” - Henry David Thoreau, 1862

 

Brandon Sherbo, Guest Blogger

 

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