Apple Picking + 5 Tips for A Great Trip

Apple season is here! This weekend we paid a visit to Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland, OH and it was so much fun. The weather was in rebellion of the autumnal status quo, and so sticking it to The Man, decided to be 75 degrees and gorgeous.

“Isn’t it pretty???” I would ask Eli. And he would nod, because I have been saying that on the minute for the past half hour. It became a problem as the pesky scenery was tempting us away from the actual apples.

See what I mean?

As we wandered away from the apple trees, we spotted the FUNNEL CAKE STAND! Sure, they were selling other goodies like hotdogs and fried apple rings, but funnel cake…undoer of diets nationwide. The lady who ran the booth asked if wanted powdered sugar on top. Uh…chea!

It was a good thing that the farm offered food and other fun children’s activities attractions with universal appeal, because even though you’ve had nine…oh, maybe ten apples in your belly, its hard to get full on apples. We think its because its so hard to keep eating one sugar-laden ingredient to failure.

Don’t let the fluffy clouds, green grass and blue skies fool you–apple picking can be seriously dirty business. That’s why it’s important to

1. Wear muckable boots. Trees need soil and water, among other things.What do you get when you mix the two? Mud. We saw a couple of Unfortunates picking their way between the trees in some nice leather boots and some cute black flats. Sure, you could probably get away with only walking on the drier grassier areas of the orchard, but everyone knows that the best apples are the ones that are the hardest to get.

2. Bring water. Apples are sticky, people get thirsty. There are those of us in the I’ll-just-lick-my-fingers-and-wipe-them-on-my-jeans-camp, but for the hygienic crowd, water is a great thing to bring.

3. Bring reusable bags. Doesn’t matter if its canvas or recycled plastic, just make sure they’re comfortable to throw over your shoulder. Almost every orchard provides big plastic bags to lug your booty around, but they knock into knees, bruise apples, trip you, make you eat mud–you get the picture.

4. Keep Em Separated. Orchards often have many different varieties of apples, and once they’re picked and in your bag, it can be difficult to tell them apart. Certain varieties are best for baking, some are best suited for cooking down, and some shouldn’t be messed with and should either be in a salad or eaten fresh. To avoid the Bite-And-See game, keep each variety in their own bag and note which apples are in which bags. That’s the added beauty of bringing your own motley crew of reusable bags instead of relying on the uniform plastic ones at the orchard.

5. Cash is King. Bring a roll of your favorite presidents, because I have yet to find an orchard with an outdoor weigh station equipped with a machine to read plastic. You don’t even need that much money. We picked about 30 apples, which turned out to be 10 lbs, and it cost us $9.50. Funnel cake was $5. Obviously, unless you go to the very same orchard we did (which we whole heartedly recommend) prices will vary, but apples are pretty cheap.

The apple season in Ohio is September to October. Different varieties come into season at different times in the season so call your local orchard and ask them what’s in season and what has already been picked clean. Happy picking!


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