Pick Like a Pro: Apple Picking on Your Day Off

Pumpkin carving, apple pie, crisp temperatures, leaves falling... fall is my favorite season. For me, fall isn't complete without a trip to the apple orchard. Use a day off to avoid crowds and have a perfect fall day.

Make Your Plan

Don't get too sad about packing away your white jeans, between Labor Day and late October is the best time for apple picking. To find an orchard near you, try this Pick Your Own locator and cross check with TripAdvisor or Yelp. To avoid disappointment, check orchards' website, social media, or give a call to make sure their fields are open. 

If there are a few orchards you're looking at, you don't need to choose favorites. Turn it into an orchard tour! One of my favorite traditions is to plan a three to four stop tour with girlfriends, similar to a wine tour where we hop from one location to the next. When we've decided on the orchards, I do some research on places to eat so we try a local spot.

What to Wear

Fall is layer season for a reason and that applies to apple picking as well. Here's my go to apple picking uniform:

  • Jeans, for maneuvering through the rows of trees
  • Boots, you don't know what the field conditions are going to be like
  • Scarf, layers... need I say more
  • Gloves for Picking, rather be safe than sorry

And don't forget to throw sunglasses and bug spray in your bag. 

In the Field

When you’re out in the orchard, filling up your bucket is the easiest part! Be smart about what you're picking. While an apple a day keeps the doctor away, let's be honest, you don't need five pounds of apples so only pick what you need and can afford to buy. 

Most orchards use a color coding system for the types of apples. Save the confusion by grabbing a map or guide to the orchard.  As far as the types of apples to pick, it depends on if you're using them for eating raw, baking, or cooking. Food Republic offers a handy guide to what to do with all the apples.

As tempting as it will be, skip eating an apple off the tree. You should both wash and pay for it first.

At Home

You don't want to let your hardwork go to waste so be sure to store apples in a cool place when you get home. I try to get a mix of apples to eat raw and to bake with. Here are a few of my favorite recipes: cider, dried apple chips for snacking, cobbler, and homemade potpourri. Happy picking!

September 15, 2015