I always start to think about fall when August takes her paintbrush and swipes the maple tree with an orange flare. We try to spend the remaining days of summer in the sunshine, whether it’s swimming, barbecuing, or just playing in the yard. And then it’s onto one of my favorite fall activities – apple picking!
As September comes along, the leaves start to fall more quickly and the gold overtakes the green in the trees. And, I must admit, I really look forward to my first pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks (grande 3 pump, non-fat, no-whip, anyone?). Luckily my birthday is in August and there is usually a Starbucks gift card mixed in there.
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Related post: Fun Fall Activities – Fall Bucket List
Fall is apple tree picking season in New England. There are so many orchards in the region that it’s not too hard to find apple picking near you.
They’re saying 2017 is going to be a banner year for apples! I have vivid memories of 2014 where the spring frost, summer rains, and fall warmth were just right that the trees were overflowing with apples. The ancient trees at my parents’ house struggled under the weight. One apple in particular, (Google says it might be a Dutchess of Oldenburg variety), just poured juice when you bit it. With each bite, the perfume filled your nose. We are mighty blessed to experience these things.
If you’re visiting the region, find the “apple picking near me”:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York*
*I know New York isn’t technically New England but it’s so close and we share a lot of common features! Plus, they have a booming cider industry!
Any kind of fruit picking for kids can be fun. Fresh fruit, beautiful landscape, and a treasure hunt – all in one trip.
- Orchards can be uneven and hilly so bring a carrier or jogging stroller. For a carrier, I use an Ergo that has been with us since our daughter was born. For a jogging stroller, I use an old Reebok similar to this one that I was able to get through a Facebook tag sale site!
- Plan what kind of apples you’re going to get before you set out and check the orchard website for what they’re offering that week. Different apple types will ripen at different points in the season. The season is usually August – November with early, mid, and late varieties throughout. I love to pick Jonagolds and Cortlands as they are some of the best apples for pies. New England Greening are good pie apples too.
- Walk to the end of the row of the orchard before you start picking so your bag will be getting heavier as you are starting your way back.
- Watch out for bees if you have an allergy in your group. Bees, which are very important pollinators, are attracted to the sweetness of the half-eaten apples that maybe on the ground. So be safe and bring your Epi-pen.
- Tell the kids to watch for potholes or fallen apples. No one likes a sprained ankle.
- Pick an orchard that has a food option. Some places have cafes, food trucks, or other vendors on the weekends. Hangriness can easily destroy an otherwise beautiful day.
- Bring home some of the farm’s specialty baked goods. It isn’t only about the best apple picking. Around here, our orchards have world-famous pies, apple cider donuts, apple butter, and delicious jams.
- Bring your camera and take a ton of pictures!
Soon after you get home, start enjoying those apples from the orchard! Whether it’s fresh eating (I love packing an apple and portable nut butter packets for an afternoon snack) or baking, there are so many ways to enjoy. If you feel an apple overload, try making some muffin and apple breads to freeze or various jellies, chutneys, and even apple mix to can.