Apple picking in New England isn’t about picking your own to save money, it’s about the experience. Translation: You’re probably going to pay more for the apples you pick yourself than you would pay for them at the grocery store. But, don’t let that deter you. Apple picking is an absolute must in the fall.
First, find an orchard. Ask around at school, or at the soccer field. Other parents will readily tell you which orchard they visit every year. If you aren’t comfortable asking, or no one has recommendations, check out PickYourOwn.org. They have listings for every county in the U.S.
In southern New Hampshire, Mack’s Apples is the hot spot. Why is Mack’s so popular? Because they make apple picking about the experience, not about pulling fruit off a tree. Mack’s has a farm stand, picnic areas, pumpkin patches, pie contests, an ice cream stand, and hayrides. Find an orchard like that, my friends.
On apple picking day you’ll want to dress appropriately. Long sleeved shirts and pants will keep your arms and legs scrape and scratch free. If you’re going early in the day you’ll also want to wear shoes that will keep your feet dry while walking in the dew covered grass.
Once there, enjoy your time picking, but make sure you allow a little extra time for exploring all the other activities available at the orchard. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of the photo opportunities, so make sure to take your camera!
Finally, after the kids have exhausted you with their endless energy, head home for a nap. Once you’re awake it’s time to really enjoy the fruits of your labor. Bite into one of those crispy apples, make a pie, or if you’re like me, make a fresh apple cake. What? You’ve never had one of those? Lucky for you I’m willing to share.
Fresh Apple Cake
4 cups apples, diced (peeled or unpeeled)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts are good)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Mix apples and sugar. Let stand. Mix remaining dry ingredients, add wet ingredients then apple mixture. Pour into greased, floured pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool and serve with whipped cream.