Nebraska City, Neb. (Sept. 14, 2010) – One of the joys of fall is to head outdoors on a crisp day, head to a nearby orchard and spend time picking your own apples right from the trees. Renew your autumn harvest tradition, or start a new one, at Arbor Day Farm this season at the U-pick orchards at the Tree Adventure attraction.
The U-pick orchards will be open during the annual Applejack Festival, Saturday and Sunday in Nebraska City. The Tree Adventure is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day during the Applejack Festival, and visitors can pick between nearly a dozen different varieties of locally grown apples.
Arbor Day Farm's orchards have a bumper apple crop this year thanks to the spring and early summer rains, said Erik Olson, orchards manager at Arbor Day Farm. Arbor Day Farm is a 260-acre historic landmark owned and operated by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation and was once part of the estate owned by Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton.
"The apples are exceptionally large this year, and the trees are just brimming with juicy apples that are ripe for picking," Olson said. "There's no better way to spend quality time outdoors in the fall than by picking apples and then going home to enjoy the fruits of your outing."
U-pick apples will be available during the Applejack Festival and through the fall. Available U-pick varieties are: Paulared, Jonagold, Empire, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Winesap and Turley. In addition, pre-picked Honey Crisp, Gala and Ozark Gold apples can be purchased.
Arbor Day Farm will have many special activities during the Applejack Festival. At the Tree Adventure, there will be tree climbing and cross-cut sawing with the expert Tree Adventure Arborist Team, children's nature activities in two Nature Explore Classrooms, appearances by Carly Cardinal, face painting and live traditional folk music, in addition to the U-pick apples.
The Tree Adventure also includes hand-crafted, nature-inspired activities along the trails, the 50-foot-high Canopy Tree House and the tour-guided Discovery Ride into the woods.
Other Applejack Festival activities at Arbor Day Farm include fresh-picked apples from the farm's orchard and Arbor Day Farm wine tasting at the Apple House Market; a nature-inspired craft fair with 40 booths at the Historic Barns; and hand-dipped caramel apples, fresh apple cider, homemade apple pie and other festival foods at the Pie Garden.
Following the Applejack Festival, the Tree Adventure will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission to the Tree Adventure is $6.50 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 3-12 and free for children age 2 and under. Each paid admission comes with a free tree seedling to plant at home.
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About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, conservation and education organization of more than 1 million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.