It’s no surprise that apples are a favorite fruit in almost every community.
With their variety of colors (red, green, yellow) and their variety of flavors, from sweet to sour, there’s probably an apple for everyone.
So if you’re an apple lover or even an apples- are-okayer, you’ll want to make your way down to Terhune Orchards on Sept. 22 or 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. because Apple Days are here once again.
The two-day event celebrates apples and kicks off the farm’s Five Weeks of Family Fun in celebration of the Harvest.
Free apples from the 30 different varieties harvested at the farm, from Macintosh to Stayman Winesap, will be featured during Apple Days. Visitors to the farm can pick their own apples off or pick up baskets by the bushel.
There will also be many opportunities for family fun and fall activities centered on traditional farming, she said. They include pick-your-own pumpkins, pony rides, tractor-drawn wagon rides, a corn stalk maze, the farm trail, music from the Daisy Jug Band and homemade food, including apple cider, donuts, apple pie and a large pig roast, said Pam Mount, who co-owns the farm with her husband, Gary.
“We really try to do things that are traditional to a farm,” she said. “We try to stick with what a traditional farmhouse would have.”
Another interesting attraction is the machinery barn, which is routinely emptied out for events and decorated in themes. One year included the legend of Johnny Appleseed, and this year the barn will be dedicated to everything cornucopia. There will also be an artist who makes metal fruit sculptures.
Apple days has been a tradition at Terhune since 1977. The Mounts have had the farm since 1975. It all started when they were contacted to participate in a local Oktoberfest event. Their apples were sought out, so the Mounts decided to have their own event at their own property.
It was a great way to bring people to the farm, she said. It started out as a one-day weekday event in the fall, but when it coincided with a Jewish Holiday, one year, they decided to move it to a weekend.
“It grew and grew and grew” she said.
The whole idea behind Apple Days is to bring families together, she said.
Terhune Orchards is a 200-plus acre farm with 35 different crops, from berries to zucchini. The Mount Family takes an active role in running the farm. Though they are living their dream now, it isn’t quite the life Pam and Gary Mount’s imagined for themselves while dating in high School, Pam said.
Gary’s family owned an apple farm but he wasn’t really that skilled in farming, she said.
Their love for adventure, both were in the Peace Corps, and good teamwork helped them land were they are now.
“The reason we farm here is because we want to be involved in the community and have the community be involved with us,” said Mount, who was born and raised in Princeton, as was Gary. “We really see ourselves as the caretakers of this property, not the owners.”
The farm in spirit belongs to the community, she said.
They started off with peaches, some apples, pears and cider. Mount learned most of her skills in fruit and vegetable cultivation by writing features on vegetables for the Princeton Packet years ago.
“This is really the place we want to be,” she said. “One of the wonderful things about the family farm is that it’s actually run by a family.”
Tannwen Mount, one of the Mount’s daughters who currently works at the farm, had a similar reaction.
“This is the best possible place to grow up in,” she said. “There’s nothing better than having all of our own vegetables.”
Tannwen is also fond of Apple Days.
“I was always in charge of the slush stand,” she said. “It’s great how it really grew. It started out with just our family.”
With the upcoming event Terhune orchard wants to keep with their ongoing goal:
“That people enjoy this place and that it’s prosperous,” Pam said.
Admission for Apple Days is $5 to help pay for shuttle busses used to transport people to the farm from Bryster Myers Squibb Parking lot, which is open to the public once the farm parking is full.
For more information visit Terhune’s Web site, terhuneorchards.org.