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Apple Hill opens with traditional good old fashion fun

By: Stephanie Banks, Special to the Telegraph
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Even though Apple Hill cannot claim its own zip code, it is a destination point every year, particularly during the first week of September, when the season opens with gala events that have been a tradition in the region for over 100 years. This year’s Fall 2008 Apple Hill season was again welcomed by an enormous draw in attendance. "This year is at least as good as last year," said Jerry Visman, who manages High Hill Ranch. " It’s an annual and often a family tradition for many. Apple Hill is our family " Visman's family has operated High Hill Ranch since 1915. Some of the larger farms, like High Hill, offer a variety of activities for children of all ages. Pony rides, trout fishing, or hay mazes keep the kids occupied while the variety of craft shops offer old-fashioned fun for everyone. A number of tour groups also visit each year, some designed to offer school children an education in apple growing and picking. “Basically an overall education as to how to grow the fruit”, Visman said. Ultimately, the harvest provides the makings for delicious fresh apple pies, fritters or candy coated apples that compliment other apple related items in the gourmet farmers’ market, as is the case at the High Hill property. “Apple Hill” is an association that has grown into 56 members of local agriculturalists committed to ensuring excellent growing conditions within the region of apple orchards and vineyards. Individual farmers work collectively to preserve the quality of the annual harvests, and the integrity and tradition of the region that remains a long-standing tradition. This year the region also plans to celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday on Sept. 21.