BY JEFF HORVATH from the Independentweekender,com 9/24/15
"Apples and apple cider are synonymous with fall, and as the weather cools down and the days start to shorten, both are abundant at Jaynes Orchard in West Auburn.
The sprawling property that houses the orchard has been in Roger and Jeannie Jayne’s family for over 130 years, and became an orchard when Roger’s grandfather planted his first apples trees more than two generations ago.
On Friday morning Roger was busy making apple cider, a staple of the orchard, which produces over 7,000 gallons of cider a year. While her husband was busy with the cider, Jeannie Jayne spoke of the philosophy they employ concerning their fruit.
“Everything is totally hand-picked and hand-sorted here,” she said. “And everything but the apples is sold right here.”
Jaynes Orchard does wholesale their apples at several local locations and stores. They grow and sell a wide variety of apples, including paula red, wealthy gala, golden supreme, jonamac, mcintosh, honeycrisp, cortland, macoun, red and yellow delicious, suncrisp empire, jonagold spy, spigold, mutsu idared, stayman winesap braeburn, and fuji apples.
You’d have to be a real apple afficianado to name all of those varieties, but the orchard also grows and sells a selection of other fruit, such as grapes, peaches, and sweet and tart cherries which guests can pick themselves. They also offer pumpkins and winter squash, which grow well in the fall.
“I love the family feel of our farm,” Jeannie continued. “We’ve been around for so long and have a loyal group of customers who are like a part of the family.”
They are starting to see a lot of their “family” around this time of year, which is the busiest time for the orchard. They sell hundreds of gallons of cider a week at the farm, as well as other seasonal fruits.
For Jeannie and Roger, the little things that come with day-to-day life on the farm are what make their job so rewarding.
“I love when I find an absolutely gorgeous piece of fruit,” Jeannie said, “or when you can see tiny cherries starting to form in the cherry blossoms. This farm is 100 percent of our lives, and it’s who we are.”
Jaynes Orchard has long been a popular field trip destination for Elk Lake second graders, who get to learn how an orchard runs while also getting an opportunity to pick their very own apples.
“The kids get to enjoy the fall colors and get to see how apples are grown, picked, sorted, and made into cider,” Jeannie said. “They also get to taste some of the cider and pick an apple for themselves off of one of our trees.”
One of the original trees that Roger Jayne’s grandfather planted when he started the orchard still remains on the farm, and field trip guests often take a festive fall picture in front of it. The other trees line different parts of the property, and are complimented by pastures filled with beef cattle that the family also raises.
“Sometimes I wish we could travel more in the fall,” Jeannie joked, “but I’ve been here since I was 19 and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Someone came around years ago offering to buy the place, but this is in our blood and we are here to stay.”
The orchard is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1-5 p.m. They are located on Jayne Road in West Auburn."
When we first came to live in Pennsylvania the first job I was able to get was picking apples in a local orchard. They were Macouns and have been our very favorites ever since. Yes, I climbed trees with a canvas bag and, yes, I was careful not to bruise them, and yes, it was hard work, and yes, I got paid by the number of bushels picked. IT WAS VERY ENJOYABLE TO DO THIS!
I've gone to Jayne's once and will go again next week. My bin will need to be refilled after I make some applesauce. Look for apples in future posts!
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