Apple picking season is underway across Windsor-Essex

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Apple picking season in underway across Windsor-Essex and Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery in Lakeshore is officially open.

Owner Harold Wagner says they had bigger crowds on their first day than they've ever had.

"So we started on Monday and we've had bigger crowds than we've ever had. So if that's any indication, it's going to be a busy year," he says.

Last year, hay rides were not offered through the orchard due to COVID-19 restriction, but this year, Wagner says they're going to start offering hay rides unless they're told they can't.

"Social distancing is kind of a problem on the hay rides, so we're going to insist everyone is wearing a mask," says Wagner. "We like using the hay ride to move people. You can get 35 to 40 people on this wagon and take them from the front to the back of the farm where the apples are."

Wagner adds they will have COVID-19 disinfecting stations set-up and anyone going into the orchard is being asked to stay "one apple tree" apart from anyone else.

Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery is located at 1222 Lakeshore Rd. 103, just off Highway 401 near Walls Road.