Where To Pick Your Own Apples
By Carrie Pais
autumn officially under way, you may be looking for an opportunity to
take in the fall foliage and enjoy the temperate weather. My first
choice for getting in the mood is taking a day trip to one of these
local orchards for some apple picking. And the best bit? Most are within
an hour’s drive from DC. Read on for the juicy details.
• Homestead Farm in Poolesville,
This place has been my go-to spot for years as it is a mere 30
minutes northwest of DC and has an abundance of red and green apple
varietals ready for picking. There is a small petting zoo for kids close
to the apple orchards and a walking trail to the pumpkin patches. Hay
rides are $3 per person and are offered on weekends only. I find that
schedule on the Homestead
Farm website is helpful for determining which fruits and veggies are
in season from month to month. Check it out before making the trip.
You'll find hours, directions, and the harvest schedule at homestead-farm.net.
Larriland Farm in Woodbine,
Larriland is great because it has a huge selection of apples for
picking. In a typical September-October period, there are more than 13
varieties available, including Red Delicious, Cameo and Fuji. And come
October, you can also find pumpkins, squash, spinach, beets and broccoli
on site. Bonus! After all the hard work, you can enjoy a glass of
freshly squeezed apple cider on the farm. Larriland Farm is located west
of Baltimore, off of I-70. For the full details, visit www.pickyourown.com.
• Crooked Run Farm in
Crooked Run is a small, family-operated business
located 32 miles west of Tysons Corner on Route 7. This week, the
orchard has Suncrisp, Jonagold, Paula Red, Mutsu, Liberty and Red and
Golden Delicious apples available for picking. If you aren’t familiar
with heirloom apples, check out the Domine. It’s said to be crisp and
tart, and seems like an ideal choice for baking. Because Crooked Run
keeps their focus solely on great produce, they don’t have the country
store and hay rides that other farms tend to offer. If you’re looking
for a “mom and pop” pick-your-own experience, head here. To find
directions, hours, a picking calendar, and even recipes, go to crookedrunorchard.com.
• Stribling Orchard in Markham,
A little farther from DC than the rest on the list, Stribling is
about 60 miles west of downtown and makes a great stop if you're out
wine tasting in Virginia. (I highly recommend the nearby Linden Vineyards.) It's a
huge property with around 2,500 apple trees. You can also pick up fresh
breads, apple cake, honey, jams and ciders from the orchard store.
Carrie Pais is a freelance writer and blogger (Clover & Honey)
with a passion for travel, good food and the written word. Carrie has
been living in DC for over 10 years, and works full-time as an
advertising and marketing account director.