Those who are anticipating apple picking this fall have good news.

What You Need To Know

  • Apple Farms are included in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
  • Russell Farms has seen business increase.
  • Apple picking is expected to open the first week of September.

"Pretty decent apples, they're really clean, it looks like a really good crop. This year you probably couldn't paint them on better than what we have," said farm manager, Michael Russell.

Michael Russell of Russell Farms has been hard at work preparing for the fall while the coronavirus has brought a few new challenges.

"Social distancing has definitely been the biggest part. Now it's a mandatory mask requirement in New York State, so we've been saying unfortunately if you don't have a mask on you can't enter our business," said Russell.

Representatives Anthony Brindisi and Elise Stefanik worked together to get the US Department of Agriculture to include farms like this one when it comes to COVID support. Previously, they didn't qualify.

"It definitely would be a help. I mean you work everyday all year round to pay the bills. So it doesn't come easy."

So far, Russell Farms tells us business hasn't stalled much. Especially when grocery stores started to open up.

"All the restaurants shut down. Where do people go? They have to get food. All the grocery stores were super, super busy, so I feel a lot of people turned to local businesses to help them out produce wise," said Russell.

And though things may look different, there should still be apple picking the first week in September.

"Right now the crop looks fantastic, I mean if you look behind us we've got apples out the wazoo. So, apple picking shouldn't be a problem, you should be able to pick like you normally do. There's plenty of room, you've got 25 acres to walk around."

Looking forward to a great harvest.