The apple doesn’t fall far at Littletree

A sign welcomes visitors to Littletree Orchards in Newfield, NY.

A sign welcomes visitors to Littletree Orchards in Newfield, NY.

Though their stand was not in the usual spot at the 31st annual Apple Fest this weekend, the line to buy apples, cider and donuts from Littletree Orchards stretched beyond the stand and into Seneca St.

A small farm run by the Steinkraus family in Newfield, NY, Littletree Orchards has been around since 1973 and is home to more than 10 thousand apple trees sporting sixty different varieties of fruit.

The Steinkraus’ youngest daughter, Amara, is no stranger to Apple Fest. Since she was born, Amara has lived on the farm and been working there since age 13. Steinkraus, 24, previously studied at Cornell University, but left to become Assistant Orchard Manager.

Steinkraus said Apple Fest is the busiest weekend of the year for the orchard and she spends the days leading up to it pressing apples into more than 1,800 gallons of cider.

Steinkraus’ orchard also makes cider donuts, which are in high demand at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and Apple Fest every year. Steinkraus said her mother, who originally came up with the idea to make donuts, spends 12 hours a day each of the three-day festival churning out hundreds of donuts. Steinkraus says she buys the donut mix from a supplier in Rochester and they add their apple cider to it, but eventually plan to make their own recipe.

In addition to running the orchard, Steinkraus has been thinking about incorporating two of her other passions on to the farm. She plans to host various live music acts, but also wants to begin producing hard cider.

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Alexandra Leslie and Lewis Kendall are senior Journalism majors at Ithaca College. You can reach them at adleslie13@gmail.com and lewda.kendall22@gmail.com.

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