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Trips That Make Cents: All things apples!

Posted at 5:44 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 07:16:01-04

PARKVILLE, Md (WMAR) — The first official day of fall is next week and one activity associated with the turn of the season is apple picking.

Weber's Cider Mill Farm has been a staple in Baltimore County for over 50 years. Not only do they have their popular market and festival in Parkville, but they have a pick your own farm in Glen Arm, with apples and lots of fresh flowers.

"We have a lot of good apples that people are breeding for flavor and that has just been a wonderful thing for the apple business," said owner Steve Weber.

Weber has been working on the family farm for 50 years. His dad bought a used cider mill back in 1947 that they still operate today, and they grow some of the apples on Peachberry Farm in Glen Arm.

Apples are their main crop and they open up weekends in the fall for pick-your-own. They have 30 varieties and a big crop this year.

"It’s almost like going into a wine store; you’ve got so darn many choices," said Weber.

Along with apples, they have a cut-your-own flower field with tons of colorful blooms, and new this year, a big sunflower field. You can take those home too.

Weber said they are dealing with higher costs because of inflation but they haven’t raised the price of apples since they started pick your own and they try to keep costs as accessible as possible.

"Yeah, we’re paying more for fuel, salaries, all of those things, but the biggest thing going on with these trees is turning sunlight into apples and we’re not paying for that," said Weber.

Some of the apples from the orchard make their way 10 minutes down the road to Parkille, where the cider mill is. There they have a market and big outdoor activity area.

The market features fresh produce and tons of apple-themed baked goods. They are most well-known for their apple cider donuts, but the market manager Jake Weber also recommends the caramel apple walnut pie and Jewish apple cake.

And of course, you can't forget about their apple cider that Weber said is still made the same way their grandfather made it when he first bought the used mill back in the 1940s.

"It is ground up apples filtered through a heavy cheesecloth at 200 pounds per square inch pressure and that’s it," said Weber.

Every fall, they also host daily harvest festivals with lots of activities for all ages. They’ll have plenty of pumpkins, concession stands, a big hay maze and their most popular attraction: the hillside slide.

"Which is a slide we built into the side of a hill," said Weber. "We have hay rides, our mini tractor barrel ride, all kinds of full playground. Our animals: goats and chickens and ducks and bunnies."

There is a cost for admission to the barnyard activity area and you have to buy tickets online for everyone over age 2, to help with crowd control because it’s so popular.

"It used to be that around 10:30-11 o'clock people couldn’t get in. There was no parking available. The place was slammed. There were lines to get in the parking lots," said Weber.

The Johnny Appleseed Festival is this weekend and then the fall harvest festival is daily until November 6. Click here for ticket information.

Before heading out to Peachberry Farm, you have to reserve a time slot online and pay for an apple bag in advance. They started this because of COVID, so they know how many people to expect and can keep crowds to a minimum. They post all the open time slots on their Facebook page along with a link to sign up.