Hansel’s Orchard saw a successful, long season due to warmer temperatures. Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

Hansel’s Orchard in North Yarmouth is bringing its you-pick apple season to a successful close.

Warmer temperatures into November in recent years have extended the apple season, which typically begins in September and ends in late October.

“I have been open in November in the past, but not often,” Margie Hansel said. “I’m not wearing as many jackets outside now.”

Crops in the area were not affected by a frost in May that had the potential to kill apple blossoms. Each year is different, Hansel said. Last year was a drought, and this year there was a lot of rain.

Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards in Cumberland also reported strong business this fall.

Sweetser’s Apple Barrel will be open through December. Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

“It’s been a great season,” Greg Sweetser said.


While the Sweetser orchard does not offer pick-your-own, the Apple Barrel market sells Sweetser apples, baked goods, cider and pumpkins through December.

At Hansel’s, pick-your-own is a major draw. During the pandemic, Hansel noticed an increase of families showing up and the orchard has remained popular ever since.

“During the COVID years, a lot of people were looking for outdoor activities that they could do with multigenerational family members, so we definitely had an increase during that time,” Hansel said. “I think that made people realize we’re here and it’s really fun.”

Hansel’s Orchard grows four types of apples, with the popular Cortland and McIntosh growing “really big” this year because of all the rain.

As this season comes to a close, Hansel is preparing for the next one. She’ll prune trees throughout the winter, and after New Year’s she’ll start managing the trees for nutrients, bugs and diseases.

“Really, it’s an all-year-long endeavor to get the apples for the fall,” Hansel said.

Although it is important for the orchard to sell as much product as possible during the season, that’s not what Hansel enjoys most.

“I love seeing people enjoying the outdoors and being together,” she said. “It’s really fun to watch people come, and it’s amazing to see how many people run into people they know out at the orchard.”

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