By Rachel Holt

TYNGSBORO (CBS) – For 34 years, people have been coming to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro to take part in a New England tradition- apple picking.

“Apple season in New England is one of the greatest family things that I feel you can do,” said Ellen Parlee, who owns the farm with her husband Mark.

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This year, there’s even more reason to be excited.

“At this moment things have really come together in terms of the apple season. The apples are good size, the flavors phenomenal, the quantity is terrific,” said Ellen.

“You know, this is the best crop we’ve ever had,” said Mark.

Apples at Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro (WBZ-TV)

This, despite a growing season where farmers across the region faced extreme heat and excessive rain.

Russell Steven Powell is the Executive Director of the New England Apple Association. He said, “while a lot of farmers who have field crops have had their harvest diminished, in the case of apples the trees are able to absorb a lot more water.”

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“They kind of suck up all the moisture, get bigger and juicer so we’re excited about the apple crop this year,” added Mark.

On top of that, compared to last year, it’s easier to welcome big crowds with relaxed COVID restrictions at farms and orchards.

“Last year we did have some restrictions, people had to make reservations to go to orchards in some cases. We’re not finding that this year,” said Powell.

“On a certain fall weekend, we may see five to six thousand people in a day. So yes, apple picking is popular,” said Mark.

Like most farms in the area, apple picking season at Parlee Farms will run through the end of October, and they say as long as the weather cooperates, especially on the weekends, it has the makings to be one of their best years yet.

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For more on Parlee Farms, visit: parleefarms.com

Rachel Holt