Apple picking season is here! What’s better than a crisp fall day spent outdoors with friends and family picking local, homegrown delicious fruit? Plus, nothing is sweeter than taking a big bite out of a freshly picked crisp apple. This fall traditional pastime is the perfect activity to embrace the new season. So, put on your boots, grab a sturdy bag and get pickin’! Before you go, here are a few helpful tips for a great apple picking experience:
Apple Picking 101
1. Find a local apple orchard
Almost all 50 states have pick-your-own orchards; however, each region has a different varieties of apples. For most of the United States, September and the beginning of October are prime apple picking times. Google “apple orchards near me” or visit pickyourown.org to find local farms.
2. Bring cash
To avoid any disappoint upon arrival, bring cash. Some orchards may not accept credit/debit cards or have ATMs, so it is best to keep cash on hand.
3. Arrive early or go later in the day
Apple orchards tend to fill up fast, so arrive early to beat the crowds. Or, wait until most people leave the orchards and enjoy the golden hour while picking some golden delicious apples.
4. Wear boots or comfortable shoes
Orchard grounds can be damp or muddy, especially after rainfall. Skip the sneakers and wear boots or comfortable shoes that will protect your feet from getting wet.
5. Choose a good apple
Start by picking apples that are on the outside lower branches of the tree — these apples ripen first. Be sure to gently twist and pull the apple. Avoid bruised apples and don’t shake the tree!
6. Skip the apples on the ground
You likely notice apples lying on the ground. Don’t eat them. If the apple you are trying to pick drops on the ground, feel free to pick it up. Remember to wash the apple before eating!
7. Follow orchard rules
8. Treat yourself to apple cider donuts
A irresistible fall classic! Indulging in freshly made apple cider donuts is the perfect way to end (or start) an apple picking trip.
9. Bake, bake, bake!
The best part of apple picking? The delicious recipes and sweet aroma of fall that fills your home when baking apple desserts. And if you’re looking for recipes with less sugar and fat, we’ve got you covered. Here are 3 healthier apple recipes you should be making this fall.
10. Store your leftover apples in the refrigerator
Storing apples correctly is key to an extended shelf life. If they will be eaten right away, keep them in a bowl on the counter. If not, store the apples in the refrigerator, specifically in the crisper drawer enclosed in a plastic bag with holes or covered with a damp paper towel to increase the humidity.
For more Fruit Picking tips see Ten Tips For Visiting a U-Pick Farm With the Kids