Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Go Apple Picking?

Someone recently asked me "Why go apple picking? I don't understand the appeal/point." Here's my answer.

To support small farms that depend on income from apple-picking tourists. Because making a living profit from farming and resisting the pressure to sell off farmland to McMansion developers are hard to do these days. The cost of Pick Your Own is still about the same as already-picked apples for sale at farmers markets or stores, around $1/lb, but the farms deserve to make money for their labor of growing the apples. And it's about the experience.

For the pleasure of walking around beautiful orchard paths and fields in good company on a sunny fall afternoon.

For insanely good views of fall foliage

For climbing trees to snare hard-to-reach fruits, especially late in the season.

For snacking on juicy freshly picked apples.

For the exercise that comes with carrying around a twenty pound half bushel bag.

For the vinegary smell of fallen rotting apples that might inspire you to make your own hard cider or try some from the local wineries.

For saying hello to goats that live in barns.

For picking out a pumpkin to carve.

For the sound of children running around. And for rolling down hills like children.

For spying on honeybees and buying local honey from the farm store.

For rewarding yourself afterward with hot cider and freshly made donuts.

For bringing home tons of apples to eat, to freeze, to make crockpot applesauce, apple pie, apple muffins, apple cake, apple pancakes...

My place of choice for apple picking is Ochs Orchard in Warwick, NY, ninety minutes outside NYC, for its stunning views, charming farm store, and proximity to my childhood home. To find a Pick Your Own farm near you, take a look through this comprehensive list of farms in the US, Canada, Britain, and other countries.

photos 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 by Jamie Santamour. rest by me.


  1. 1) This is my favorite post of yours so far
    2) It makes me want to cry a little that I wasn't there
    3) That photo jamie took of you is amazing!
    4) Ok I'm crying.
    5) I hope you said hi to Rora for me

  2. This post is wonderful, I love the photos, I'd love to visit where you went to so I can meet the goats and pick the apples too. And you look beautiful too... Good luck with all the apple cooking, report back yes?

  3. Glorious glorious glorious. I love the photos, and the goat.

    I wish there was somewhere like that near here - especially the bit with the honeybees and the fresh donuts at the end. I love literally anything with cooked apples in. And cooking stuff you've harvested yourself makes it so much more tasty and satisfying.

  4. LOVE this! I just snagged 20+ lbs of apples this weekend, though not from an orchard - there are none near us. From the store. But organic and Oregon apples! Yay!

  5. so fun!!!!! What wonderful pictures too!
    Also, like you said about the wedding pics, it's neat cuz we MET! :)

  6. I smiled all the way through this post. So beautiful. You look just radiant in that photo. The scenery is amazing. Love it love it love it. Wish I were there.

  7. i adore this. I absolutely adore this.

  8. yes, yes and yes. mainly to say hello to goats who live in barns. :) no, i'm in complete agreement. we should be doing our part to support local farms, and honestly, if you're lucky to live in an area where fall is just marvelous, you should go out and experience it. walk around and pick the apples yourself.
    also, you're so cute - you DO look like winnie cooper!

  9. I grew up picking apples in Illinois and LOVED it. I clearly recall the cider, the donuts, and how excited we'd be about it, every year. Next week I'll visit a very small orchard here in Northern California. Can't wait. Great post.

  10. Gorgeous post! Going apple picking with Noah on Tuesday. :)


  11. I just went apple picking last weekend. Love this post. Sometimes it just about doing something a little different.

  12. I love these pics! Dave and I have some standing in the exact same places when we went berry picking earlier this summer. You've really captured the apple picking experience. I feel like I can smell the cider doughnuts.

  13. wow, that looks like heaven - and what a pretty picture of you!

    i'm sorry i've been so mia lately (transit mtg! halloween party! thank you for the invites!) - the new job has been crazy, and i've been neglecting everyone lately. but...we should do something (for real) soon!

  14. Lisa and all - you made me smile with your sweet comments.

    A Green Spell - what did you end up doing with your 20 pounds of apples? I'm having trouble using up my 8 pounds.

    Maria - I bet Noah loved apple picking.

    Mer - so good to hear from you! yay shared experiences.

  15. I never got up to an orchard this year, so I'm jealously sighing over your photos. That photo of you holding a Golden Delicious? Ginger Gold? is amazing!