Where To Pick Your Own Apples
There's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a perfectly crisp, fragrant, slightly tart fall apple. It's even more satisfying when you've plucked your prize straight from a tree, with barely a minute's time between limb and enjoyment.
Apple season is in full swing around the DC area. Here's where to get your pick on:
• Stribling Orchard
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.
• Homestead Farm
About 30 minutes northwest of DC, Homestead is a popular fall destination —there's a petting zoo for kids, hay rides, pumpkin patches and of course apple orchards. Find hours, directions and the harvest schedule at homestead-farm.net.
• Butler's Orchard
Butler's is reporting a light crop of apples this year so be sure to call before you go to see what's ripe. The farm also offers cutting gardens, pumpkins and raspberries, as well as local milk, cheese and ice cream in the market. Weekends bring apple cider doughnuts.
• Larriland Farm
Larriland has a great selection of apple varieties for picking from Golden Delicious to Mutsu. You can also cut your own flowers. Beets, swiss chard, broccoli and pumpkins will be ready in early October. 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
Crooked Run is a small, family-operated business located 32 miles west of Tysons Corner on Route 7. If you aren’t familiar with heirloom apples, check out the crisp and tart Domine. 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.
Carrie Pais contributed to this article.
Also check out:
• Apple Pecan Crisp
• Hot Buttered Apple Cider with Rum
• Ask Amanda: Charlottesville Wineries
• Hurricane Wine Tasting in Virginia