Happy Harvest Expected for Arbor Day Farm's Apple Orchard


LINCOLN, Nebraska (September 12, 2023) – The darker the clouds, the sweeter the crop.  

Despite an early-season drought, late-summer rain has helped make the apples at Arbor Day Farm’s Apple Orchard even tastier this season. 

“The extreme heat ripened the apples up significantly early in the season, but the moisture in August really helped usher in a second spring,” said Ben Heusinkvelt, Grounds and Orchard Manager. “The trees have grown so much in the last month and the apples have had the perfect conditions to sweeten up and get juicy. This is going to be a delicious harvest.” 

The high quality of this season’s yield is a testament to the resiliency of the apple crop. Before the summer drought, the apple orchard endured frost and two damaging hailstorms early in the growing season. About 30% of the blossoms were lost, but those remaining have thrived. Arbor Day Farm estimates the orchard will produce about 350,000 apples this year. 

People can take a bite out of the harvest during the upcoming AppleJack Festival. The 55th Annual Festival is expected to draw nearly 80,000 people to Nebraska City from Sept. 15-24. Visitors can pick their own apples from the orchard, as well as visit the Apple House Market to try caramel apples, apple donuts and apple cider.  

Arbor Day Farm’s Tree Adventure will also be open to guests to explore the trails and climb through Treetop Village. The Local Makers Market, featuring more than 50 vendors, will be held during the first weekend of the AppleJack Festival at Arbor Day Farm’s Historic Barns.   

Visitors can purchase tickets at arbordayfarm.org/tickets.  

About the Arbor Day Foundation 

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Together with our partners, we have helped plant more than 500 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival. Through our members, partners and programs, the Arbor Day Foundation inspires people across the globe to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.? 

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