Monday, October 21, 2013

Apple Picking 101

I’ve been promising as part of my Weekly Wishes to put this post up for weeks now, and finally, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about apple picking, one of the best fall time activities known to man, and certainly one of my and FM’s favorite things to do!!


In case you couldn’t tell, I love Fall.  Everything smells fresh and crisp, there’s pie, and sweaters, and hot cider, and crunchy leaves, and pumpkin beer, and all sorts of other amazing things to look forward to.  One of my absolute favorite things about living upstate NY during the fall season was the prime apple picking.  After all, it’s apple picking country, one of the best places to go for the freshest crispest apples of all time! (Really, you would think I worked for one of the orchards based on my obsession here, but I don’t, I swear).

So here’s your handy dandy awesome guide to picking out some delish fruits and having a blast of a day with family and friends in the great outdoors and crisp cool air… 

1. Pick a great day
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve picked apples on less than happy weather days, and it was still a blast.  But the apples were wet, and so was everything I had on, and I’ll tell you, having your rain boots sink into sloshy apple remnants and mud did dampen a little of the fun.  So look at the weather ahead and shoot for the best day (even overcast days are ok, just no rain!)

2. Wear layers
Yes, Fall gets chilly, especially up here in the North. But I promise, being out in an orchard all day reaching for the highest apple branches and eating your weight in appley goodness will cause a bit of a heat wave to come over you (especially if you start dipping into the hard cider, yum).  Just dress smart, because nobody wants to be sweating to the oldies while you’re trying to have some clean family fun!

Oh, and ladies, small bags and cross bodies are the way to go. No honking huge Coaches in the orchard!

3. Find an orchard that lets you pick by the bag
A lot of the orchards have different rules about how you pay for and pick their apples.  I’ve been to quite a few different places that have different options, and I’ll tell you, the greatest way to go about it is finding an orchard that lets you pick as much as you can fit in a bag that they give you.  You pay one price for the sack, and then have your jollies trying to Jenga the apples in just so to fit as many as you can.  

Otherwise, if you pay by the pound it’s hard to judge how much you’re picking, and then you get to the weigh station at the end and it’s like 1 million dollars, and your jaw full of apple skins hits the orchard floor.  If you pick by the pound, you’re not gonna have a good time! (Just kidding, you still will, you should definitely just limit what you’re picking and know what the per pound price is before you start out, sometimes it’s not so cheap!)

4. Bring extra bags
Once you act a squirrel and fit all your precious little apples into the bag (and more than likely overflow that bag), you have to lug them all home.  You’ll likely be putting them in a car first though, unless you live on the orchard, in which case, can I come over? 
Anyway… depending on who’s driving, and what kind of turns they like to make, your apples may be taking a separate ride all over your trunk!! That’s no fun!   Just bring an extra couple of large reusable grocery bags to transfer your apples to to ensure they have a safe and non-threatening journey to apple sauce land (especially if you have a driver like my mom, Mrs. Hairpin turns).  

5. Stop by the store
No matter where you go, there is always a country-esque store.  Of course the orchard wants to pedal their own goods, and I promise it’s well worth the stop in.  I can’t leave without cider donuts, ever. (no shame!) They’re amazingly fluffy and topped with sugary goodness! SOOO hard to beat!  Plus there’s usually fresh pie, and pressed cider, and other fruits and veggies they may grow, and if you’re really lucky, they’re an orchard that makes their own hard cider.  And if they are, you should definitely have some, and take home a growler or 12.  YUM!!

Just go! Take the kids, take the whole family, take the neighbors, and have a BLAST! It’s such a good time and it has become a major tradition in our house, and I’ve roped my family into it as well!

Enjoy the fall everyone, and please share your picking adventures! I’d love to hear all about them!

Now here's some wonderful adventure pictures of our fun this year!

You know the cider donuts are good when you
can't wait until you're home to eat them!


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