Which is the best time of the year to go apple picking?
When the produce aisles in the Fresh Market start filling up with apples, you know for sure summer has ended.
Come Fall , the apple season begins.
Depending on where you live, there are different varieties of apples grown. They ripen at different times of the season. The end of September and the beginning of October is the best time to go apple picking in most of the US.
Go Apple Picking !
If Apple picking is in your bucket list of things to do in Fall, you definitely must. The fresh air will do you good.It is more fun with children, since their enthusiasm and joy of running through the orchards, will rub off on you. Moreover the Fall activity is a lot of fun & less taxing.
Driving to the countryside on a weekend, filled with corn fields on both sides can be a treat you give yourself. The golden corn fields is sure to take your mind off the hustle & bustle of city life & the mundane.So go on, find the nearest orchard & plan to go apple picking on a Fall weekend!
Arriving at the Apple Orchard
Following the country path lined with corn fields, we slowly entered the zone where we spotted apple trees lining the country road on either side.
We knew we were getting closer to our destination when we spotted the largest parking lot. The parking lot at the apple orchard was buzzing with activity. Both young & old were happily walking towards the orchards, baskets in hand.
Wagon ride & Tour guide
We bought our tickets and stood in line along with others, to take the wagon ride to the center of the orchard.
Our tour guide explained to us about the rules of the orchard, the different varieties of apples grown there, and how the apples of different varieties taste.
Until then, I had no idea their tartness or sweetness determined, into the making of a pie or a cake!
The different varieties of apple
Needless, to say the orchard had miles and miles of apple trees lined up ready for picking, of all shapes, sizes and flavors…..
There were 63 varieties of apple ready for the picking, we were told. Depending on their taste, they went into making pie, sauce or to be just eaten fresh.
Tips on how to pick your apples
- You should be able to gently pull the ripe apples away from the tree without tugging too hard. If it is difficult to twist and pull the apple off, it’s most likely not ready for picking. Be patient!
- Full size apples might fall from the tree & need not necessarily be damaged, so watch out.
- A mature apple will be slightly softer & have a good ripe flavor. Taste one before you pick others.
- Whether it be yellow, green, pink or red apples you are picking, the color must be consistent for that variety of apple.
- Brown seeds are an indication of maturity while light green or white seeds indicate the apples may need a few more days or weeks.
The Apple picking begins!
We were taken to the center of the apple orchards in our wagon & let loose to pick our own apples.Can’t really say who was most excited, the children or the grown ups. There is a joy in being amidst nature & picking its ripe fruits in gay abandon, that is priceless.
With our hands, bags & baskets full of different kinds of apple we returned to the barn, where we could smell fresh apple cider, yummy pies. We got to taste some fudge treats and caramel apples in there.
We returned happy, checking the bucket list item off of our Fall list of things to do.
How to preserve the apples you bring home?
Now that you have your apples, picked, sort them according to the different varieties . Deciding on how you would like to use them in your different recipes and then preserving them accordingly, is important.
Some of the well known ways to preserve apples are:
- Canning : Apples can be canned using the traditional water bath method, steam canning, or pressure canning. You can choose to can them in a simple syrup, or in a blend of spices to make a canned, apple pie filling.Canned apples can be used a simple snack or can be used to make apple sauce.
- Freezing : Freezing apples changes the texture, hence they are mostly used for making baked goods.Sliced apples should be dipped in water and lemon juice before freezing in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Drying : You can dry the apples into crispy chips or make a chewy, fruit leather. Dried apple chips taste delicious in homemade trail mix.You can adjust the flavor & sugar content when you make chewy apple leather at home, making it a healthy treat for children.
Apple recipes to try this Fall
- Apple pie
- Apple cake
- Apple butter
- Apple cider
- Apple chutney
- Caramelized apples
- Apple Crisp
- Apple shortbreads
Now that the holiday season is close at the heels of Fall, a gentle suggestion for you- canned and dried apple chips make for great holiday gifts! Tie a pretty ribbon around your can, place your dried apple chips in a beautiful homemade linen bag and gift them to family & friends this holiday season.They will love your thoughtfulness!
The Bottom Line
Have you gone apple picking this Fall?
Here is list of places you can check out if you live in and around Chicago land area to go apple picking this Fall.
What are some of the recipes you have tried making with apples ? Share some of your fun memories from apple picking trips.
Do fun Fall activities like these bring joy to you ? It sure does for me ! Share some of your bucket list items to do in Fall!
We have never been aple picking. It looks like so much fun. We may need to try it this fall.
You should, if you haven’t yet, its a lot of fun!
I haven’t picked apples this year but I have enjoyed doing that many times. Such a great fall activity.
Thank you. Let’s all hope things get better soon & we get to enjoy our Fall activities.
I love apple picking with my kids! I have not gotten there this year though, sadly!
Yes, it’s a lovely family outing to have.Hoping for things to get better so we can all get out and enjoy some fun Fall activities.
Now this looks like an amazing place to go pick apples, I’d love to go there! When I was younger I “had” to go pick apples and it wasn’t fun. lol 😂 Now that I’m older I do miss doing this and making all those yummy recipes from them. Thank you for taking me back and for sharing this 💜
You are most welcome. Happy to take you down memory lane, now you can choose to pick apples happily, without “having to” do them, if you are not in the. mood for it 🙂
We have not been apple picking in years (I am actually very allergic to apples), but I’m sure my kids would love the experience!
Sorry to hear that, I am sure your kids will enjoy the outing & fun!
We love apple picking! We went once and was hoping to go a second time – these are great ideas to use the apples!
Thank you, for your kind words. Yes , we can still practice safe social distancing this year while in the orchards having some Fall time fun!
Great post about everything apple! My favorite orchard was swept away in flooding after a forest fire some years back – haven’t been to an orchard since…
So sorry to hear that, hope you find another close by to relive the fun memories of apple picking in Fall.
I would love to go apple picking! I’ve never been and I’m not sure they have it at the local farms here. But how fun!
If you haven’t till now, it is a must try. There is so much fun & joy in this Fall family tradition that everyone in the family would enjoy the outing. What’s more you will come home with a bag full of apples to try different recipes with or just snack on them celebrating the fact that you hand picked them. Enjoy! I really hope & wish you get to visit one soon this Fall.
Apple picking is great fun in the fall!
I grew up in an orchard town so we know our apples! Can’t wait to see what you’ll be making with yours.
How fun. I did not know about the different varieties of apples out there until I landed in the orchard for apple picking. I was simply blown away with the different varieties that grew there & our friendly guide explaining what each one tasted best in. Be on the look out for my first apple recipe of the season next week 😉 A surprise is waiting for you!
Apple orchards are a favorite fall activity for us too!
Such a lovely tradition and so much joy for everyone!
Interesting, informative article; can’t believe there were so many varieties of apples!
Thank you, for your kind words. I did not know either until we visited the orchard, so much to learn each day & such fun too.
I wish we had an orchard near us! I’ve always wanted to take my kids to pick apples.
Perhaps when you visit or travel to places in Fall that have orchards close by? I’m sure your kids would love it when you do.Wishing you find one to visit soon.
We love apple picking! Just got a bunch over the weekend. A favorite Fall activity.
Totally agree with you on that, we love it too!
One of our favorite things to do as a family in the fall
Yes, indeed a favorite family tradition in Fall.
I love apple picking, but haven’t gone in many years! I would like to try to go this year with my 1 year old 🙂
That would be so fun. I can only imagine the number of pictures you can take with your lil ‘one and the apples, I’m sure it will be a favorite memory when your kid grows up!
This looks like a great location to pick apples! Yum, all the things you can buy! I have only been able to apple pick one time, there are not many orchards where I live.
Yes, it is a lovely location and in the midwest there are so many orchards close by to us, that would open up to the public for apple picking season.It’s always a fun activity to plan on the weekend, not missing anything in Fall before winter has us hibernating indoors 😉
What a fun, family friendly activity! I’ll be on the look out in my area. Thank you for sharing!
You are most welcome. I hope you get to enjoy soon visiting apple orchards around you.
We love apple picking too!
Thank you. Enjoy, the fun activities this Fall!
I can’t wait to get apples for canning!
It’s the perfect time of the year to go apple picking. Have fun canning them, this season!