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The pick-your-own apple — a fall food fad that hit pumpkin-spice proportions before there was pumpkin spice — has a new national in-spot, in Maine.
Libby & Son U-Picks, in Limerick, ranks No. 1 among the country's favorite apple orchards, according to a USA Today poll completed Sept. 15.
The newspaper's annual 10 Best Readers Choice Awards recognize favorite vacation spots, food, hotels, airlines, activities, travel-related products and other "bests." USA Today editors and a panel of experts make 20 nominations in each category, and the public picks the winners via an online poll.
In its description of Libby & Son, the paper gave props to crops including the orchard's Paula Red, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Empire apples. "On select days," the award profile also noted, "guests enjoy live music that can be heard throughout the orchard."
Libby & Son outranked orchards in Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, California, Michigan (two honorees), Indiana and Illinois, placing from No. 2 to No. 10 respectively.
In a Facebook post, Libby & Son said, "Our whole family is absolutely awestruck at the support we received from our wonderful customers, amazing staff members and our gracious community! Just to be nominated is a huge honor, to finish in the top 10 is astonishing but to finish No. 1 is incredible!"
The family-owned orchard placed No. 6 in both the 2022 and 2021 polls.
Besides apples, Libby & Son grows blueberries, raspberries, peaches and plums. The 40-acre farm is "dedicated to growing quality and environmentally conscious fruits" without the use of pesticides, according to its website.
The orchard is at 86 Sawyer Mountain Road in Limerick, about 35 miles west of Portland.
Sources: Maine Pomological Society, U.S. Department of Agriculture
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