MEDINA — As summer winds down, activity at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and Lynoaken Farm is revving up.
The family-owned farm near Lyndonville has been in the family since 1919. In 2004, the Oakes purchased the farm at 10609 Ridge Road and expanded their operation to include a winery and a U-pick apple orchard.
A warm late summer or fall day will find visitors flocking to the farm to enjoy the bounty of the season.
The Oakes have planted a heritage apple orchard, containing 368 varieties of apples, some that were developed centuries ago. Each tree is identified with a stake listing its name and development date.
Ashmead’s Kernel, Bellyfatten, Cat’s Head, Duchess of Oldenburg, Gascoyne’s Scarlet and Hoover are just of few of the unique varieties.
Each tree is also marked with a sign indicating whether it is ready to pick. Green means ready, yellow means ripening (and if you pick an apple and it’s underripe, that's your fault) and red means not ready.
On Saturdays and Sundays during during peak apple picking season, the farm provides wagon rides through the orchard.
This past Sunday, Samone Walker, Eugene Coleman and Danielle Harrison brought several youths from a group home in Buffalo to pick apples. None of them had ever been on a wagon ride or picked apples before, so they took the advice of farm owner Wendy Oakes Wilson, who showed them the correct way to pick an apple without bruising it, and they went home with a bag full.
“In the Heritage Orchard, you can see what apples looked like years ago,” Wilson said. “Some only produced a sizeable crop bi-annually and a lot were not very pretty. Take the Russet. It has rust on it, but it is an amazing tasting apple inside.”
Lynoaken Farm also has a number of current varieties of apples for U-pick, all on dwarf trees.
The farm and winery are open seven days a week, year round. In addition to the U-pick adventure, apples can also be purchased in the apple pavilion or gift shop.