SWANTON, Ohio — Located on Airport Highway between Swanton and Delta, Johnston Fruit Farms has been an apple-picking and pumpkin-patch staple for decades.
Founded in 1954, the farm decided to shift gears about 15 years ago to stop producing for large commercial chains, and instead focus on their own market.
The farm offers apple picking, other fruits, and a full fledged fall experience for families with pumpkins, a free petting zoo, and their famous pumpkin wall.
"So, we decided to stick with our old ways and keep that niche going and just focus more on serving the community in that way," co-owner Martha Mora said.
This weekend, you too can help them supply food to those in need.
Johnston Fruit Farms began their annual "Apples for Everyone" event 13 years ago after a bumper crop of apples, inviting guests to pick apples to donate for local food pantries.
Mora explains they gathered 12,000 pounds that first year. "It was so much fun and the people that come in to help with it enjoyed it so much, we just really wanted to keep it going and we have."
Currently, their apple orchard is swamped from all the rain that's fallen in the last 36 hours. But, Apples for Everyone is still going on this Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mora says it will just be dialed back a little bit.
She says vehicles would tear up the ground in their orchard too much, and they're postponing some of the festivities planned for the day.
Apples for Everyone participants are asked to bring their own buckets, baskets, and wagons from home to make sure local food banks will still get an influx of fresh produce next week.
"But we're just going to go on foot instead of going out with the wagons, and we're still going to harvest apples," Mora said. "We'll have the bins up here at the store to collect the apples for the food bank."
Johnston Fruit Farms is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and on Sundays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.