Many of us welcome the coming of Autumn. There’s just something about cooler temperatures and watching the leaves turn color. Of course it is also time for all of our favorite fall treats. Many of my favorite fruits and vegetables start to ripen and get ready in early fall. Let me tell you, it isn’t just about all things pumpkin. It’s also about apples – and going to an apple orchard.
If you’re looking for a fun fall activity you can do with the whole family on a crisp and sunny day in September or October, try apple picking. It’s a fun way to get everyone out of the house and in the fresh air. As an added bonus, you get to come home with a big crate of apples that you can both use immediately and through the coming months.
Start by finding a local apple orchard that lets you come out and pick your own apples. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find several apple farms just outside town, or you may have to take a little drive. The Pick Your Own Website at http://www.pickyourown.org/ is a great resource for helping you find apple orchards in your area.
Once you find an orchard you’re interested in give them a call and find out what apple varieties they have and which ones are ready. This is also a great time to learn more about the best times to come pick and what other fun attractions and activities they may have available. Some have quite a variety of other activities; some are simply apple orchards.
If you’re not familiar with the apple varieties they have available, do a little research and find out more about each type. You should be able to get a good idea about flavor, firmness, what the apples are best used for (eating apples vs. baking apples for example), and how long they can be stored. This is good information to have ahead of time. It also allows you to plan what varieties you want to pick and in what quantities.
I will send you a list of varieties, along with a few simple recipes if you fill in the form below. You will immediately be directed to a page with links to both the Apple Varieties and Easy Apple Recipes pages to download and print.
Last but not least, it’s time to head out to the farm and have fun. Get an early start and get to picking apples. Don’t forget to taste them as you go along and have fun. It’s an experience and a great time to not only make family memories, but also teach your kids about where their food comes from. Enjoy your day at the apple orchard and everything they have to offer. If you’re lucky, there may be hay rides and lots of tasty apple treats to sample and buy. You may even get to help make apple cider or learn more about Johnny Appleseed. Be sure to snap some photos so you can remember the day.
Explore the various apple orchards your region has to offer and find a few favorites that you can visit fall after fall. Then come home with your crates of apples, cook and bake some of them, and enjoy the rest all throughout fall and winter.