This past weekend, my family and I went apple picking at Battleview Orchards in Freehold, NJ. The weather was perfect, the cider so tasty, and the apples crisp and sweet, just like we like them.
Apple picking is a great way to start off the fall season. It is a wonderful event for the family that pleases both children and adults and a great way to play outdoors before the weather turns cold. As an added bonus, you get to climb trees! Not to mention most of the farms have quaint little stores full of Halloween decorations, baked goods like pies and cider, donuts, and lots of apple cider. Some of them will also carry mums and local fruits and vegetables that are still in season.
So, grab the family, pack a lunch and enjoy a nice day at a local farm or orchard!
The best way to find a pick-your-own farm near you is to check out pickyourown.org. Not only do they list what is in season and the farms in your area, but you can find pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fruit festivals, Christmas tree farms, and more.
Now, if you worry about pesticides on your apples, like I do, you might be able to find an organic orchard in your area. There is no guarantee that they have organic apples, but if the farm has incorporated organic methods for some of their crops, that is a good sign that they care about the environment and probably use spray as little as possible on the rest of their crops. Don’t be shy about politely asking the farmer. The good ones love to talk about their farms.
Unfortunately, near me in New Jersey, an organic apple orchard is hard to find. But, I still go apple picking, because I think it is important to support local farmers and to teach our children how food grows and about sustainable living. And slowly but surely, more farms are turning to organic methods, so the change is happening.
I hope you get a chance to get out there and enjoy the bounty of nature. Let us know about your fall season adventures!
Image Credit: photo by Catherine Magner