It’s that time of year again through the Twin Tiers, apple picking season began this afternoon at Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen. Rick Reisinger, owner of Reisinger’s Apple Country, says this may be the best apple crop they’ve ever had.

“We didn’t have any spring frost that was one thing and then we started a little behind because it was a late winter, which is good for us, it eliminates any problems with frost and once we got by that we had a period of pretty hot weather that was dry.” Reisinger says, “There was still a lot of moisture in the ground so it allowed the fruit to size.”

Reisinger says it’s important for the fruit to size early on in the season as that is when cell division is happening. Because they had the maximum amount of cell division before we had an increase in rainfall the cells easily filled up with water and the size of the apples doubled within days. 

This will most likely lead to the biggest apple harvest that Reisinger has ever seen. The best part is that the apples are not small either.

“They’re well sized, especially the size and the numbers are kind of perfect for each tree.” Reisinger says, “Each variety has a full crop of apples on it, there’s no varieties that are really short.”

U-pick apples are now available for a select few varieties but that didn’t stop Helen Franzese and other families from coming out, enjoying the weather and picking their fill.

“Every year we’re here,” Franzese says, “particularly at this farm they have the best apples and the most family friendly environment.”

Franzese is visiting with family from London, England but always tries to make it up to pick the apples at Reisinger’s each year. But what is the favorite so far this year?

“Today the Zestars which we’ve never had before, but they’re very sweet and very good for eating,” Franzese said.

Zestar are a variety that is now available to pick in Watkins Glen, however, there are a few more varieties available for U-Pick as well. That includes Ginger Gold and Paula Red’s, but if picking your own apples isn’t your thing Reisinger’s also offers U-Cut flowers as well as already picked fresh peaches and plums.

If you’re waiting for another variety of apple to be ready, they will be available soon!

“The next one to come will be Sansa,” Reisinger says, “which is a popular one, most people you don’t know it because it’s not in the stores but it’s a crunchy apple that will be coming in a week and that one is a sweet tart crunchy apple, after that we’ll be onto McIntosh, Gala and so on.”

But until then, families are invited to a good time of apple picking in Watkins Glen.