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Apples on the North Fork are ripe for the picking (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

While the beach and backyard barbecue will be on many people’s mind’s this Labor Day weekend, apple picking season on the North Fork has begun. That’s right, at least three farms have either already started apple picking or will kick it off this weekend,  including Harbes Family Orchard.

“We’ll be open for apple picking Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” said orchard manager Sharon Harbes. “Our U-Pick apple orchard is about 15 acres and apples that are ready for picking this weekend include our honey crisp and gala apples.”

While apple picking season may creep up on many of us, Harbes and other farms have an obvious advantage.

“We’ve been watching the apples grow all summer,” Harbes said.  “It’s fun to see them grow and ripen and be able to offer them to our customers. As the season gets closer in August, we do begin getting a lot of phone calls and a lot more traffic to the website, as a people like to come out with their families on the weekends.”

The weekend of September 12 & 13 is the annual Harbes Apple Festival which will include apple picking, a corn maze, caramel and candy apples, hay and pony rides, as well as wine tastings, food vendors and live music.

Below is a U-Pick Apples guide for the North Fork. Please call the farm before heading out to check for weather and availability.

Davis Peach Farm 

561 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River (631) 929–1115

Open weekends beginning mid-September

9 a.m. To 5 p.m. Call for pricing

Harbes Family Orchard

6698 Sound Avenue, Riverhead (631) 298-0800

Open weekends beginning September 5

9 a.m. To 6 p.m. $8 per person

Lewin Farm

812 Sound Avenue, Wading River (631) 929-4327

Open weekends

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call for pricing

Wickham’s Fruit Farm

28700 Main Rd. Cutchogue, (631) 734-6441

Open Saturdays and Labor Day (Closed Sundays)

9 a.m. To 4 p.m. Call for pricing

Windy Acres Farm

3810 Middle Country Road, Calverton, (631) 727-4554

Open weekends

9 a.m. To 5 p.m.  Call for pricing

Woodside Orchards

729 Main Road, Aquebogue, (631) 722-5770

Open weekends beginning Sept. 12

11:30 a.m. To 5:30 p.m.  $15 per pack