Local Apple Orchard Prepares for Busy October Weekends

CAMBRIDGE, Iowa -- It’s the second week of fall and the crisp, cool air has hit the metro. For many, the change in season will mean a trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch and one local business is ready for the crowds.

“I don’t know what it is but the first and second weekends in October are always really busy,” said Deanna Black, Director of Fun for Center Grove Orchards. “I think the weather really helps. It was unseasonably warm in September and no one wants to picks apples when it’s that hot.”

Outside of the weather, Black attributes the early-October rush to produce timing and seasonal enthusiasm.

“Falls equals apple and pumpkins,” said Black. “We still had a crazy amount of people come out and pick apples in September even with it being so warm.”

Center Grove is open from mid-August to November and this year is a little different because harvest for the apple crop came earlier than normal.

“If people want to come out and pick apples this is the week to do,” said Black. “The crazy part is even after 21 years doing this, each season is different. We have more than one season for apples, they can come out in early-August or early-November. This year, ‘Mother Nature’ cooperated beautifully.”

You can expect to see higher volume crowds over the next two weeks but Black and her team know how to handle the crowds.

“When it’s busy, you don’t have to wait in a long line for cider slushie,” said Black. “We have many places where you can purchase things. We really utilize the space here on the farmyard.”