8 Things I learned about apple-picking

I love this time of year. The first crisp fall days make me want to get out and savor the autumnal beauty and mild temperatures. Weekends are filled with fun fall activities.

In recent years I’ve added apple-picking to our fall activity list and it has quickly become a family favorite. If you’ve never been apple-picking I highly recommend giving it a try.

Now that I’m no longer a total rookie, I’ll pass along a few things I’ve learned from my apple-picking experiences.


1) If you plan on picking a large quantity it’s a good idea to bring a wagon.

The basket full of apples gets heavy fast and you may have a lot of orchard left to cover. A wagon comes in handy not only for hauling the youngsters but to help carry that full basket.

2) It’s easy to get carried away.

I’ll admit it’s fun picking apples.  It’s also easy to suddenly realize there are more apples in the basket than family, friends, teachers and co-workers to help eat them. Make a list before heading into the orchard to avoid over-picking. Apples are delicious, but if they’re going to go bad when you get them home that’s just sad.


3)  Sun block, hat and comfy shoes are a must.

Sunny fall days may be cooler, but the sun can still be brutal. Be prepared. Even if you’re going to be surrounded by trees in an orchard the sun peeks through. Don’t be sorry. Same goes for shoes. Being stylish has a time and place but in an orchard comfort is priority.


4)  Arrive early.

If you get there early it’s usually less crowded. It’s much easier to pick when there aren’t hoards of people in the orchard. You’ll also be able to work the trees at your own pace.

5)  Call ahead.

Temperature, storms, frost, volume of visitors all affect the picking season at an orchard. This year North Carolina experienced a warm winter which in turn created an early harvest. It’s always wise to call ahead to assure your favorite orchard isn’t “picked-out.”


6)  Remember your camera!

This one may go without saying.  The scenery at an orchard on a sunny fall day is phenomenal. Add a cute kid, the apple of your eye, and it’s the perfect photo-op.


7)  Learn the varieties of apples before you visit.

The first time I went picking I was clueless and picked anything. Now that I’m more experienced I’ve learned which apples are sweet and which ones are tart and can better plan my picking to meet my needs.  Most orchards list what they grow on their websites.


8)  Pinterest

If you come home and discover you’ve over-picked and don’t know what to do with all the apples Pinterest is a great place to find recipes. Apple crisp, apple sauce, apple butter, apple cider, apple tarts, apple pie – you name it, there’s a recipe on Pinterest.


There’s something special about apple season. Bright sunny days, crisp temperatures and a festive feeling that comes after having endured a long hot summer feels like a reward.

Maybe it’s the enjoyment of spending time in the country away from normal day-to-day noises. What ever the reason, apple-picking affords an opportunity to get outside, enjoy and take a bite out of life.


If you like this please share it with your friends.  And as always, Happy Travels!

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