Berlin apple orchard announces opening with a festival

October 11, 2018

In January 2017, when David Dinning purchased the Huckleberry Mountain Orchard in an unkempt condition near Berlin, he envisioned the property as perfectly mowed and trimmed.

“When I first saw this farm, you couldn’t even see the trees or the bushes,” he said. “Nobody would buy it because they (could not) see it. After I bought it, everybody said, ‘I was gonna buy that.’”

His wife, Nancy, said that although their apple buds froze last year, this year was different. As a result, the family is planning an Apple Harvest Festival Sunday at their property at 162 Black Bear Run.

According to their daughter, Rebecca Brinkmann, the festival runs from noon to 4 p.m. and includes free children’s games, a Nerf battlefield, about 13 craft vendors, music and hayrides. Melissa Probst of Huckleberry Acres Photography is to start taking family photographs at 1 p.m. Brinkmann said they’re also going to sell apples, pies and dumplings.

All profits from the pies and dumplings are being donated by the family to the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District’s parent-teacher-student association. Brinkmann said they’re keeping all other profits to cover the festival’s nearly $1,000 cost.

There are $5 and $8 options to purchase apples, according to Brinkmann, who also said that festival attendees will be able to pick from red delicious, golden delicious, Stayman and Jonathan apples.

“This year was the first year and we had an abundance of apples, so we opened the orchard up for a you-pick, and our goal is to be able to continue to offer a place for the community to come and pick apples,” Brinkmann said. “We’re not certified organic, but our plan is to get our certification,” she said, adding that their 1,200 apple trees have never been sprayed with pesticides and that they use organic fertilizers instead.

“Because we are a new orchard, we wanted it to be a community thing,” Brinkmann said of the festival. “Our future goal, hopefully next year, we are renovating the barn to turn it into a wedding venue.

“It’s really, really pretty when it’s full of apples. I think it will make for a really pretty backdrop for a wedding.”

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