The recent shift in the weather is just another sign that autumn is fast approaching. That means one of my favorite activities is just around the corner -- apple picking. My husband and I have been picking apples every fall since before our kids were born. We patiently (okay, incessantly) check to see when our favorite varieties will be available so we can plan a trip to stock up on our favorite fruit.
Any type of fruit or vegetable is best picked right from the source, but there is something spectacular about arriving at an orchard on a cool fall day and seeing kids run up and down rows of trees bursting with so many varieties being warmed by the sun. Unlike the strawberry picking of early summer, apple picking won't leave you complaining about a sore back or contemplating the best way to remove berry stains from your children's clothing.
Apple picking can be an all-day affair or it can be a quick process, depending on what you are setting out to do. We usually go twice a year, with one trip to pick apples, visit with the farm animals, stock up on apple cider, sample apple treats, and relish in the beauty that is an autumn afternoon on a farm. The other trip we spend simply picking apples, as we are never surprised by the staggering amount of apples the five of us consume.
We are lucky to live in an area with a wide array of farms that do offer apple picking. There are farms where you can quickly go out, pick your apples, and be on your way back home, dreaming of apple pie. There are other farms that offer a variety of fun events that can provide an entire day of fun.
Here's a listing of some of my favorite area farms that allow you to pick your own apples. Be sure to visit them online or call first to ensure that the apples are ready and double-check hours and other details.
- Appleberry Farm, 8079 Maurer Road, Cross Plains; 608-798-2780.
- Door Creek Orchard, 3252 Vilas Rd., Cottage Grove. 608-838-4762.
- Eplegaarden, 2273 Fitchburg Rd., Fitchburg; 608-845-5966.
- Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard, 2722 Williams Dr., Stoughton; 608-873-4096.
- Sutter's Ridge Orchard, 2074 Sutter Dr., Mt Horeb; 608-832-6445.
- Eugster's Farm, 3865 Highway 18, Stoughton; 608-873-3822.