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The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

How Do You Like Them Apples: Hand-picked or Store-bought?

Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards celebrates 100 years and remains as fresh and enjoyable as their apples

How do you like them apples: Hand-picked or store-bought?

Now that it’s fall, many families across the country have begun to engage in the timely tradition of apple picking! For most, it is a festive activity that autumn lovers like to indulge in, while others enjoy the idea of harvesting their own fresh produce straight from the source.

For 101 years, Kercher Sunrise Orchards has been a reliable place for many families in Elkhart County to pick fresh produce all season long. During the fall season, Kercher Sunrise Orchards embraces all their 20-acre apple orchard has to offer, and opens their farm for others to enjoy, as well. It’s called U-pick, which is just as it sounds like! People can pick their own apples with no entry fee whatsoever; simply pay for what is picked! Their apple orchard contains 19 different varieties of apples. The varieties differentiate in availability over the season. Right now, Golden Delicious, Evercrisp, Jonathan, Ginger Golds, Lodi Transparent, Red Delicious, Zestar, Paula Red, and Northern Spy are available for the month of October. A lot of the apples are great for baking and crafting delicious snacks for the autumn season. The U-pick is open now until early November, closing at around 5:30 p.m. each day. If  new to apple picking and unsure if it would be a pleasurable experience, Mollie Kieffer from Kercher’s reassures guests with this: “Apple picking is easy and fun! A 1-year-old all the way up to a 100-year-old, can pick apples–and it’s an inexpensive family activity!”

Sunrise Orchards, Inc.–more commonly just referred to as “Kercher’s”–has been a family-run business for decades.”The Kercher Family, from beginning to now, has taken pride in growing high quality produce,” states Keiffer, a 5th generation family member. “We open our farm every fall for families from all over to visit and experience picking apples and pumpkins, going on a hayride, walking through a corn maze, and educating thousands of school children on where their food comes from.”

Just in case the apple picking itself isn’t one’s “thing,” Kercher Sunrise Orchards also offers activities for the whole family on weekends! Each weekend in October, the farm offers Fall Hay Rides, which entails a free hay ride where riders go pick a pumpkin of choice! This activity is offered from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sundays. After picking out a perfect pumpkin, they offer delicious warm apple cider donuts and cups of fresh pressed apple cider that they craft there themselves! Their apple cider is to die for and encapsulates fall in a single swig. The apple cider is sold inside their shop and is available all the way until New Year’s Eve. Guests simply can’t leave the farm without purchasing a gallon for home! 

Kercher Sunrise Orchards is open from Mid-April to Christmas, and according to Mollie Kieffer, the best time to come visit the orchards is almost…anytime! They offer “flowers and morel mushrooms in the Spring,; local strawberries, blueberries, asparagus, and other fruits and vegetables in the summer; wonderful peaches in August; and fruit baskets at Christmas!” And, don’t worry about where to buy these pieces of fresh produce; their store contains all of their delicious items mentioned above! The Kercher Sunrise Orchards store also contains house-made jam and jellies, and different types of honey! They also have a whole section dedicated to knick-knacks for decorating homes for the season! 

If  looking for fall festivities in the area, then don’t wait too long–Kercher Sunrise Orchards is a delightfully fun and inexpensive place to visit for family and friends. Located at 19498 Co Rd 38, Goshen. One can’t say he or she had fun this season without trying one of Kercher’s crisp and fresh apples! 


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About the Contributor
Aurora Kalkbrenner, Staff Writer

Aurora Kalkbrenner is a new addition to The PENNANT staff this 2023-24 school year! As a sophomore, she hopes to have the chance to bring out more of her creativity through writing articles this year. Aurora loves to direct her stories towards informing the public, as well as writing about entertaining news and events! When Aurora isn’t at school or work, she loves to read, paint, and do anything involving autumn! Additionally, she enjoys learning new things--and this year, she hopes that as part of the staff, she’ll learn even more than ever!

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    Rose WallaceOct 12, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Excellent!! Love this article!! Very well written and informative