Monday, October 2, 2017

Tips When Visiting an Apple Orchard

Did I say I love Autumn, because I do!!!

This Sunday, our family made a drive over the mountain to a local apple orchard. Having observed others and experience from my last trip, I thought I'd write up a quick tip list for when you visit an apple orchard.

Tip 1: Dress for a farm.
I know you want to look your best and maybe take that autumn family photo in the orchard, but you're on a working farm. You will likely have a long walk. There is dirt. There are bees. Please don't wear heels and a short dress.

Tip 2: Bring reusable shopping bags.
The orchard will often give you something to put your fruit in, but I find those reusable shopping bags, which are handed out for free at supermarkets, are perfect for picking apples. They are strong and best of all you can put them over your shoulder to easily carry your produce back to the weighing station. They also hardly weigh a thing, so you're paying for more apples and less bag.

Tip 3: Know your purpose.
Why are you picking apples? Is it the experience? Are you making pies? If you know what you're planning to do with your apples, you will be sure not to over pick. (This is the hardest for me, because I always want to pick all the fruit. It's so fun, but then I always end up with a huge bill in the end.)

Tip 4: Only pick what you want.
Look at the fruit carefully before picking it. Sometimes a bug will have nibbled an apple, so be sure to turn it and look it over before you remove it from the tree. It's never nice to throw bad fruit on the ground. It attracts bees and that can be a dangerous combo for the wrong person.

Tip 5: Show up early.
Maybe this is just for me, but I like to get their early and beat the crowd. We went in the afternoon once and were swarmed with elementary school students. 

Tip 6: Check in.
Make sure you ask where to pick before you head out to the orchard. Not all fruit is ripe at the same time. You can even call ahead to ask what fruit is available so you can be sure to get the fruit you want. I'm a sucker for Fuji apples. I've never had a bad one.

I hope this comes in handy for your own apple picking adventures. Really if you aren't sure, check it out and find those local pick your own farms. It's fun! It's a memory! Enjoy those fleeting days, even if you're tired and flailing with the housework.

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