Saturday, October 9, 2010

How 'Bout Them Apples?

Upstate New York in the fall is like something out of the movies.  It's so beautiful up here!  When Heather decided a pumpkin was needed to accent our super cute front door holiday display, we took to the back roads of Saratoga County in search.  A little online research suggested an apple orchard would probably be the best place to find Charlie Brown's great pumpkin.

Appleless Riverview Orchards
Our first stop was at Riverview Orchards in western Clifton Park.  When we pulled up, there were tons of cars parking and people filling the side of the road.  These folks were here for apple pickin'!  Not about to miss out on the fun, we raced inside to the gift shop only to learn that all the apples were gone...like 'none-left-on-the-trees" gone.  Apparently an early freeze had wiped out most of their crop.  But they were giving free hayrides, which we guess is why there were so many people there?
Brett "Apple Seed"

Signs directed us to Bowman Orchards just a mile away.  The line of traffic waiting to get into the parking lot was pretty healthy, so we figured we had to be in a good spot.  Twenty minutes later we were parked and ready for the excitement of "you pick" apples.  The orchard set us off with a map, plastic bags (for $.25 cents each) and absolutely no instruction on what to look for in a good apple.  We figured we could wing it!

Pick Me...Pick Me!
It didn't take long for us to stumble across trees with apples on them.  You could only pick certain types of apples off the trees: Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fortune, Fugi, Granny Smith, Ida Red, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Red Delicious, Spigold and Suncrisp. With a phone call to Phyllis and her extension agent advice on apple picking, our bags were full in no time!  The greatest thing is that you could eat the apples right off the tree...so we had plenty of snacks during this adventure.  Heather hadn't had this many apples since the Mean Diet
An apple a day...

The 98 acres of Bowman Orchards turned out to be a good place to bring little kids.  The grounds featured a bakery, gift shop and playground for the youngsters.  They also had hayrides and a place where you could fire an "apple gun" at a target.  We couldn't leave without trying the famed apple-cider donuts they made.  And you know we had to wash it down with a swig of apple cider...still buzzing from that sugar high!

Great weather matched the beautiful scenery and even though we didn't have to climb a ladder to get to the tops of the trees (they were available), we still came home with a bounty.  We ended up picking 22 pounds of apples and (here's a shocker...) totally forgot about picking up a pumpkin!  Maybe next weekend.

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