By the Green Committee
As the sunny, warm summer weather continues well into autumn, the PIFS Green Committee shares with you a roundup of local apple-picking sites. This weekend promises temperatures in the 70s again, so it’s an opportunity to enjoy some of these last moments outdoors before we’re hit with La Niña!
Fruit picking is hard, rewarding work—but all the delicious berries and handheld apples and pears don’t just appear on your table without some effort. The experience of harvesting is one our kids will remember. Encourage them to feel the sun beating down, sweat dripping, arms aching—just as a fruit picker would in the field. There are still apples to be picked, just call before you head out to check hours and availability.
Please let us know your favorite spots – we’re always excited to learn and share. Many of the apple orchards are very busy on the weekends. They have a lot to offer, so plan to arrive early if you can! Remember the Green Committee is open to any and all. Contact Erin Dodds at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive emails.
Fishkill Farms – An eco-farm in the Hudson Valley
Fishkill Farms is a working eco-friendly farm in Hopewell Junction, NY, about an hour away from Greenwich. They have pick-your-own fruit all summer long and into the fall. Summer brings berries and vegetables and end-of-season peaches. Apples are ready all fall, from Macintosh in September to Macoun in October. Other varietals at Fishkill include Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jonamac, Cortland, Empire, and Organic Idared.
Fishkill farms has five acres of organic apples, the rest of the orchard uses Integrated Pest Management (read: spraying a preferably environmentally-friendly pesticide when necessary and using other natural ways to manage pests and disease). According to their website, apples are notoriously difficult to grow organically. It is possible, if you don’t mind fruit without a perfect appearance!
9 Fishkill Farm Road
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Open 7 days
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Drive your car right to the orchards. $5 per person picking charge (Tuesdays are free) in addition to buying your fruit. (Cost offsets the increased price of organic farming.) Kids under 12 are free. Apple bags come in three sizes, price varies.
Apple cider donuts (yes, please!), pies, cheese and other goodies are available at the farm store. Portable potties are near parking in the fields. Weekends bring hayrides, an outdoor grill, beverages, including homemade cider, and Hudson Valley ice cream. Credit cards accepted. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard – A family farm right in Westchester County
Harvest Moon is a family farm in North Salem, NY. They have an apple orchard with a farm store where they sell their own hormone-free organic turkey, chicken, pork, and grass-fed beef. They also have cider, farm eggs, local honey, dairy cheese, and maple syrup and…wait for it…apple cider donuts! Their website notes that most of their trees are currently picked clean but they do have plenty of varietals (McIntosh, Macoun, Empire, Cortland, Gala, Fuji, Bartlett Pears, and Honeycrisp) in bins throughout the orchard and at the farm store. Again, their practice is to use IPM and the most environmentally-friendly pesticides available.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
130 Hardscrabble Road
North Salem, NY 10560
Open 7 days
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. from April through Christmas
Apple picking hours 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$30 bag (25 pounds) per 5 people
Additional people in the group: $5 each
Weekend fall festival (with hayrides, pony rides, bouncy castle, face painting, pizza and BBQ) continues through October 29. No dogs allowed, unfortunately!
Outhouse Orchards – A nearby farm with a huge corn maze and famous cheesecake
Across the street is the popular family-owned and operated Outhouse Orchards. They have hayrides, a giant corn maze and pick-your-own apples and pumpkins in the fall. Apples that are currently ripe include Rome, Baldwin, and Red Delicious. They’re known for their delicious pumpkin cheesecake.
139 Hardscrabble Road
North Salem, NY 10560
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$5 parking on weekends
Pre-pay $25 for one apple bag
Silverman’s Country Market and Animal Farm – A Connecticut treasure founded in 1920
In Easton, CT, straddled across Sport Hill Road (Route 59), you’ll find Silverman’s. A country market and orchard on one side and an animal farm (with petting and feeding) on the other, Silverman’s offer endless photo opportunities (think PIFS’s pumpkin patch on steroids) and fun for the kids. Stop by before or after school one day during the week as weekend apple picking has ended. However, that shouldn’t stop you from visiting the market (apples are available, as well as pies, cider donuts (!), baked goods, local honey, and syrup) and animals (buffalo, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, deer, emus, cattle and birds) on the weekends. They also continue fall foliage hayrides on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of the month. Bands (banjos!) and freshly made kettle corn round out the fun.
451 Sport Hill Road
Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. April through December
Hand-washing stations are available for post-animal feeding, as are port-a-potties. To visit the animals: $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 1-11. Hayrides: $5, free for those under 2 years old