This post was residing in my draft for almost 2 months, thought of publishing it now 🙂
I love apples and I strongly believe “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” :). Last year (2013), we had plans to go for apple picking but we couldn’t make it. So this year, I was very firm to visit at least 1 apple orchard and hand-pick some apples. Finally , On October 18, 2014, for the first time we went for Apple picking. As anticipated my son enjoyed a lot. It was his day, he was picking few apples for us. That was really sweet , on the flip side , he was throwing away few apples too :(. On the whole we had great fun. Based on my experience, I wanted to share few guidelines about Apple Picking: (hope it will be helpful in the next year)
When to go? Apple picking starts from September and it will end by October. We went at the end of season , so couldn’t get a chance to visit more farms, only few were open . Also , very limited varieties were available. If you are planning for Apple Picking , then I would suggest the right time would be end of September.
Tips to pick perfect apples We went to an organic farm, a person who works in that farm shared few tips :
- If you see apples that were eaten by snails or worms, then that tree has most sweetest apples.
- Pluck the apples from outer layer of the tree. Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples at the outside of the tree will ripen first.
- More the brighter the color more sweeter it will taste. This will work for Fuji,
- Pick firm and bruise free apples.
By Products related to apple: In most of the farms ,apart from apples they sell Apple butter, Apple jam, Apple turnover (my favorite), Apple cider, Apple pie, Apple juice, Apple pops etc.
Farms we Visited 1) Clear view orchards Organic farm : For “Pick your own” apples they had 2 varieties Fuji and Granny Smith. In their sale shop you can find already picked apples, squash, honey, pumpkins and few other vegetables too. They also sell apple by products like Apple turn over, apple juice, apple pops, apple jam. I fell in love with their Apple turnover, it had the right quantity of spice, so fresh and the taste was really awesome. Also their apple juice tasted really good. They have placed picnic tables near their sale shop. They also have a small play area for kids with swings and sea-saw or teeter board. Near their front entrance, You can find two perfect spots for clicking some memorable snaps: 1. cute board(caterpillar in the apple) 2. a nice bench with hay cushion , surrounded by very attractive flower baskets. This farm is the right place for picnic. Heard, next year they are planning to sell apple butter too.
2) Gizdich Ranch – “Pick Yourself” apple season was closed when we went. Presume ‘U pick’ ends by October 1st week. If you go on Saturdays, then you can watch their Juice pressing crews in action, But its open to public from 8 a.m to 11 a.m, unfortunately we arrived at the ranch little late, so couldn’t watch the juice pressing. They have a nice barn where kids can play , also a perfect place to sit and eat your home-made food. If you didn’t get food from home, no probs you can try some pies from their deli shop, they sell so many varieties of pies. You can buy a piece or a whole pie. They have a sale shop where they sell their juice, apples and apple by products. I liked their Ollaberry & Apple juice. They also has an antique shop.
Advantages about Apple Picking
- It will be wax free.
- You can pick the size you want. My hubby prefers small apples , so we picked small size apples for him.
- You can taste the apple and decide whether to pick more apples from that particular variety.
- It will be a great fun-filled family picnic.
We are planning to go next year too, hopefully next year we get to pick more varieties of apple :).