Apple Picking Season Closes Early for Local Orchard 

Apple season is wrapping up early for at least one orchard in the area, thanks, in part, to Mother Nature. Sunday was the last day of pick-your-own at Maine-ly Apples in Dixmont. The orchard officially closes Monday, about two weeks earlier than last year. Owner John Olsen credits the decision to a number of factors.He says there have been more pickers than usual this year, so the crop has moved quickly. He also needs to hold on to about 7-hundred bushels of apples for fall cider season. But one of the biggest reasons to call it season – the dreary weather at the start of summer.”You know it was cool and dark in June and most of July and that’s when the apples really should be growing. There’s a thing called the June apple drop so when the apples are not developing a lot of times the trees will shed some of the little apples and the June drop was pretty heavy this year. So our crop was a little bit lighter this year, no question.”Olsen believes the economy prompted more people to pick apples this season as a way to make some of their own food and save money. He says the dropped apples, which are less expensive than the ones on the trees, were also scooped up quickly.