Public invited to pick apples
The orchard includes over 30 varieties to choose from
Beginning Aug. 26 and continuing while the crop lasts, the apple orchard at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site will be available for apple picking from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day the park is open.
This will be the 31st year the National Park Service has invited the public to harvest apples from the park’s trees. The proceeds of apple sales go toward maintaining the orchard and other historic entities of the park.
“The orchard is an important element of the historic landscape” said Site Manager David Blackburn. “We love having the ability to make this resource available to our visitors.”
Hopewell’s orchard has been found to be nearly as old as the iron furnace itself. Mentioned in contemporary accounts as early as 1782, apple trees were planted, pruned and harvested yearly. The orchard was replenished with new trees throughout the 19th Century and provided valuable food for furnace community residents, both man and beast.
The present orchard includes over 30 varieties of apples, many of which are historic types that may have been found at Hopewell when the furnace was an active industrial site. Early varieties such as Gravenstein and Summer Rambo were introduced from Europe by early settlers. Others such as Jonathan, Stayman, and Pennsylvania’s own Smokehouse were “discovered” in America and became favorites during the 19th Century.
Some of these varieties are hard to find today since they are no longer raised by commercial orchards. Also, Hopewell Furnace’s apples are grown without the use of applied herbicides and
pesticides, allowing them to retain their historic quality and taste.
Persons wishing to pick apples should stop by the park’s visitor center to obtain a list of apple varieties and orchard map before beginning to pick. Picking poles and buckets will be provided by the park. Apples cost $1 per pound regardless of variety or quality.
Hopewell Furnace is located five miles south of Birdsboro, off Route 345. Entrance to the park is free. For more information stop by the park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s website at: www.nps.gov/hofu, or contact us by e-mail at hofu_ email@example.com. Visitors with specific needs may contact the park for assistance in advance of their visit.