You can finally pick apples at Beasley's Orchard!
While that may not sound like a big deal to you, I couldn't be more excited. You see I have asked Debbie Beasley for years and more recently Calvin Beasley why they never offered u-pick at their orchard.
U-pick has become a fun fall tradition for my family every since my 10-year-old son was 2. We have multiple pictures of him through the years climbing through apple trees and picking apples, but we always had to venture outside the county for that special treat. So, it comes with great pleasure to announce that Beasley's Orchard recently added u-pick to their long list of activities on their farm.
Beasley's No. 1 priority has always been and remains its commercial production, and with its orchard not being as large as some others, the crop loss that comes with letting the untrained public pick apples remained a treacherous bridge that the family was hesitant to cross.
But the consumer demand for u-pick had become so great that it was something they could no longer ignore to stay relevant in the industry, Calvin Beasley said. It also didn't hurt that this year's apple crop appears to be the farm's biggest in over a decade. So, they figured if they were going to give it a shot, this would be the year.
Calvin deemed the first weekend a success as visitors had a blast in the orchard.
They will start slow though. U-pick will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays at their orchard, 2304 E. Main St., Danville. They could expand to more days later in the year depending on the demand. They also will continue to offer all the other activities and the Heartland Apple Festival the first two weekends in October that has made the farm one of the most visited fall attractions in Hendricks County.
U-pick will only be allowed in a small portion of their orchard and eventually include about 10 varieties of apples such as Gala, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Ida Red and a few others. Beasley's plans to offer u-pick until all the apples are picked, but varieties ripen at different times, so Calvin expects u-pick will be available into October.
They currently have a tent set up in front of the block of trees selected for this u-pick trial run. If you are interested in being a first-time u-picker at Beasley's just look for the tent when you arrive and select the size bag you wish to fill: 1/2 peck -- $7; peck -- $12; half bushel -- $20 and bushel -- $40. When available, Beasley's plans to have an expert available to answer questions and educate visitors on the different varieties and proper picking technique.
Currently, Gala is the only u-pick variety ripe for picking. The next variety to ripen will be Jonne, and it should be ready soon.
I know a lot of you are Honeycrisp fans. That variety will not be part of the u-pick experience though visitors can still buy it in the market when it ripens in a few weeks. You can visit Beasley's Facebook page for more information and updates on what apple varieties are available to pick and/or purchase throughout the rest of the season.