As the end of each year approaches, there are no shortage of holidays or family traditions. One of these traditions which has become our favorites is apple picking. We look at it as the unofficial kick off to the holiday season, with Halloween only weeks away (that’s right, holidays start on October 31st for us!) Last Sunday, we jumped in the car, for a drive out to Long Meadow Farms in Hope New Jersey. We happened to stumble upon this place last year, while coming back from a Pennsylvania getaway. We loved their apples so much last year, that we knew we had to return for this year’s apple outing.
Long Meadows has a pretty wide variety of apples, and of course the kids sample the different apples as they walk from aisle to aisle. It’s so funny to watch their different reactions. Ryder loved the Golden Gelicious, Siella preferred Gala, and I think Gemma pretty much liked them all.
Ryder is always in charge of the fruit picker, and after all these years, he’s gotten pretty good at taking down the apples. Siella and Gemma “supervise” on which ones to pull, and their team effort yielded almost 18 pounds of assorted apples! Thats going to make a ton of cider and apple pies.
It seems like most orchards have a small pumpkin patch, but I’ve always been frustrated that they are simply pumpkins from some where else, placed in a clearing to the look like a pumpkin patch. Long Meadows was the first farm that we’ve visited in years, that has a real pumpkin patch, with pumpkins still on the vine. The kids rummaged around the patch for almost 30 minutes, but we decided not to bring home the pumpkins just yet. Our pumpkin picking trip is penciled in for mid-October.
While we typically frequent farms offering hot apple cider and apple cider donuts, Long Meadows quaint setup is not that extensive. We did however pick up some of their jams and raw honey. Last year, we visited to the farm in the first week of September, so there were still some raspberries and blackberries available. On the way to the pumpkin patch, we found rows and rows of stunning wild flowers and sunflowers. This was such a treat, because no matter where we go, Gemma always seems to pick flowers, even in places where we shouldn’t. So now, she could pick whichever color and however many she wanted. She was in her glory!
An obligatory apple picking family photo.
This week, our apartment is overflowing with jams, raw honey, lots of different apples, and tons of fresh flowers! We need to eat up all these apples, before they turn bad. I’ve got a super easy apple pie recipe, that I make every year. Have a look here.