It's a common childhood experience: fall looming, gathering on the yellow school bus with classmates, pure excitement, and all for the yearly school trip to go apple picking. But should the fun and picking stop as a youngster? Of course not. This past weekend, I relived that childhood experience and it was an even better experience as an adult.
What started out with a few friends grew into a dozen as we carpooled about an hour and a half outside the city to Applewood Orchards in Warwick, NY. And what made this place more exciting to visit as an adult was the fact that it was also a winery. The establishment opened its yummy trees for picking September 4 and will continue daily until October. Apple picking starts as early as 9 a.m. and wraps at 5 p.m. With no admission fee, the farm charges only a fee for a quarter buschel bag at $0.50 a pop and half buschel bag for $1.00. From there it is pro-rated, where you pay by what you pick. Sweet deal!
Around noon at the farm, there is live music, puppet shows and face painting for the kids or adults who feel young at heart. For animal lovers, you can pet and feed farm animals. There is also a country store that serves apple cider, pure honey, jams, jellies, vinegars, herbs, pies, and oh-so-yummy fresh apple donuts. I grabbed an apple cider and hit the hayride just to enjoy it all. This place is quite the getaway from city life, giving a breath of fresh air and reminder to be aware of how great our surroundings are. For couples, there’s a rose garden that is so serene and great to unwind with a glass of wine.
Applewood Orchards had a variety of apples to pick: Macintosh (tart), Cortland (sweet-great for desserts), Empire (crunchy and sweet), and Honeycrisp (sweet and firm).There so many amazing things you can do with your apples. Bake apple tarts, or preserve them into chutney. Dry the fruit into apple chips, a light and yummy snack, especially with a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon. With a handful of apples, beets, carrots and lemon, create a healthy, nutrient-packed juice. Of course, you can just eat your apple as is. Take some time, head out to the farm, and take your pick.