Andrew Roach has his hands full these days. Full of ripe apples at the Schartner Fruit and Berry Farm in Thorndike that are being picked for cider and farmers markets. Next week, the 10 acres of orchards will open to the public.
Owner Herb Schartner said the hot summer has produced an early and substantial crop of apples, so his pickers have been harvesting for a week. “We usually don’t start until well after Labor Day,” Schartner said.
Pickers are filling bins with McIntosh, Empire, Cortland and Northern Spy varieties.
Schartner’s immediate worry isn’t the hot weather, but hurricanes that bring strong winds and drop apples.