Masker Orchards - the best family apple picking in the Hudson Valley, located in beautiful Warwick, NYMasker Orchards, 45 Ball Road, Warwick, NY  (845) 986-1058  
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Orchard History
   

The Masker tradition began more than 100 years ago in 1913, when Ora J. Masker and his wife Rena purchased close to 200 acres of farmland in the beautiful Warwick Valley. It was at this time that Ora and his wife Rena dedicated their lives to farming and discovered that the soil conditions and climate were perfect for apple trees. As time passed, Ora became a successful commercial apple farmer, harvesting thousands of bushels of apples each season. After his picking crew departed the farm following the harvest, Ora opened up the farm to local residents to take the remaining apples that had fallen from the trees. Word spread fast, and each season more and more folks came to the orchard to pick the drops. Thus the "pick-it-yourself" orchard was born.

Ora farmed Masker Orchard, as it came to be known, well into his 90's. He passed away in 1969, having become a successful farmer nurturing more than 20,000 apple trees of 14 varieties on the land he loved.

Shortly following Ora's death, his lovely wife Rena sold the orchard to George Vurno and Victor Ludmerer, knowing that the tradition and legacy that Ora work so hard to create would continue under the guidance of these two friends. Both native New Yorkers, George and Victor were now settled in the beautiful and peaceful countryside of the Warwick Valley. During the first two years, George and Victor, known as Apple George and Apple Jack, continued the commercial operation and the tradition of opening the gates to the orchard for pick-it-yourself apple picking. In 1972, Masker Orchard opened solely as a "Pick-It-Yourself"orchard, with the belief that families would drive to the picturesque Warwick Valley to enjoy a day in the country picking their favorite apples. The response was tremendous and each year more and more visitors continue to visit Masker Orchard to drive right up to the trees and pick apples that had once been hand planted by Ora himself.

The tradition continues today, as Masker Orchards is still one of the only orchards where you can drive right up to the tree to enjoy an idyllic day apple picking with your family and friends. Generations of visitors continue to flock to Ora's orchard each season, where you can still find the tree planted back in 1913. This unique family tradition continues to make memories that last a lifetime.

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Apple Jack and Apple George, partners of Masker for 35 years
 
Apple Jack and Apple George - partners of Masker Orchards for more than 40 years
   
  Ora Masker, founder of Masker Orchards
 
Ora Masker, founder of Masker Orchards

 

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