WHITEFIELD — Two-year-old Jack Kennard scaled ladders and picked the best fallen apples off the ground, while his seven-year-old sister climbed the trees, ladder or not.

With the distractions, it took a while for their family to fill their bags on Sunday morning at Bailey’s Orchard in Whitefield, but that was OK with their mother, Stacy Kennard of Augusta, who toted a camera as the kids picked and played.

“They like climbing the trees the most,” she said. “I like the pictures the most.”

The family showed up on Maine Apple Sunday, an annual industry promotion that more than 20 orchards from Sanford to Caribou opened for, according to the Maine State Pomological Society.

But many in the orchard didn’t know that. Rodney Bailey, the orchard’s owner, said the promotion doesn’t get the headlines that days devoted to other agricultural industries do, such as Maine Maple Sunday in March, for example.

Still, customers were rolling steadily into the Baileys’ orchard, just behind their family home on North Hunts Meadow Road, on a fall-like Sunday morning that was cool and sunny. In the Augusta area, Lakeside Orchards in Manchester also participated, with families coming out to enjoy one of Maine’s rites of autumn.


“I think this weather makes them really think of it,” Bailey said.

The orchard has been active for more than 60 years, but the farm on the 104-acre property has been in the Bailey family for more than 200 years. On it, the Baileys grow more than 50 varieties of apples, plus plums, pumpkins and squash, among other things.

At the orchard, customers can start picking their own apples on Labor Day weekend. Right now, only Macintosh and Cortland apples are ready with others turning ripe from September into late October, when the season ends.

Bailey said the season has been “about average” so far with recent cool nights and mornings helping the crop and good crowds since August.

The Kennards said they come two or three times a year, while Carole Cifrino and David Wright of Whitefield said they typically come once a season for a big pick, largely to make pies and send dried apples to their kids attending college out of state.

“I love September in Maine,” Cifrino said.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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