ohnny Appleseed must have had a special
fondness for the Hudson Valley. Signs of his
handiwork are everywhere. Each fall, Macintosh,
Delicious, Mutsus and Jonagolds (the favorite
apple of Europe) hang heavily on their branches,
waiting to be picked. This is the time of year
when folks from cities and suburbs flock to
the countryside to soak up the beauty of changing
leaves, and fill baskets and bellies with the
delicious fruits of the valley.
And don't forget pumpkins! There are few moments
more precious than those spent roaming with
your child through vine-covered fields in search
of the perfect pumpkin. From mini pumpkins for
a fall centerpiece to giant squash big enough
to house Peter Pumpkin Eaters wife, pumpkin
varieties are available for the picking, too.
Dozens of long established farms throughout
the valley welcome visitors to come and pick
their own apples and pumpkins in the crisp fall
air. Most add fall flowers, Indian corn and
fresh baked goods to the mix. Here is a glimpse
of a few. A visit to any one of them would be
a fall excursion to remember.
Farm Market on Rt. 9W in Milton, is a family
farm in operation since 1818. The first roadside
stand in the valley, Hepworth offers 30 varieties
of pick-your own apples. "Golden delicious are
my favorite forever," said owner Lois Hepworth.
Lois likes to mix varieties in the pies she
bakes for her family, but uses only one variety
for each pie she makes to sell, to insure a
consistent quality. She is glad to reveal that
a squeeze of lemon is the secret ingredient
Pick-your-own visitors go out to the fields
in a tractor-pulled wagon, with baskets on their
arms and smiles on their faces.
82 Four Corners Road
Warwick, NY 10990
of Applewood Orchards' 120 acres in Warwick
are devoted to six varieties of apple trees.
This idyllic setting down a country lane
includes a pick-your-own orchard, a farm
stand and a pond. Owner David Hull suggests
you bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after
apple picking, then let the kids play with
the farm's bunnies, sheep and horses. Also
available for children are haywagon rides
and puppet shows.
At the farm stand you can find pumpkins,
homemade apple cider, apple donuts, pies,
herbs, and vinegars. Jonathan and Michelle
Hull who run Applewood Winery grow, bottle
and sell ten wines there, including apple
wines like Macintosh, Apple Blossom Blush,
and a dessert wine called Autumn Mist.
tell people it's a good way to get your
apple a day," says Michelle.
Red Hook, NY 12571
Red Hook, Greig Farm has been offering pick-your-own
fruits and vegetables for fifty years. The
500 acre farm has 120 acres of apple orchards,
120 acres of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables
in season, a 2 acre cutting garden of flowers,
and a dairy farm.
September thru October is the height of
the main apple crop. Both red and yellow
raspberries are ripe for the picking now,
too. At Greig Farm, you can choose from
three varieties of pumpkins; jack-o-lanterns,
light-skinned pie pumpkins, and giant
pumpkins weighing up to 200 pounds. The
Greigs promise to lend a hand with those.
On Friday and Saturday evenings in September
and October, you can join in a Greig Farm
Haunted Hayride. Rumor has it that the
tractor is possessed, there are werewolves
in the fields and the woodshed turns into
a Hall of Horrors.
Honeybee Foods, the country bakery at
Greig Farm, is run by Melichia Phillips,
a graduate of the Culinary Institute.
Naturally, apple and pumpkin pies are
on the menu. The bakery also stocks frozen
entrees and hors d'oeuvres, so you can
enjoy your day in the country and have
dinner all ready to pop in the oven when
you get home.
Valley Pick Your Own Apple & Pumpkin Farms
If you'd like to spend
a lovely fall day in the country, choose
one of these links to find the farm nearest
to you for your own pick-your-own adventure.
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