Whoddathunkit - you can pick your own apples! I guess I should have known better considering I grew up in Florida where you can pick Oranges and other citrus fruits. Since moving to Long Island I've discovered so many cultural outdoor activities you'd never find in Florida and apple picking is one of them. After missing out last fall, I made sure this year was different. I look forward to fall activities all summer and I was not going to miss out again. If you get the chance to make it out to Long Island's East End in the fall, I recommend you visit are as many of the vineyards as possible, a pumpkin farm (where you can pick your pumpkin straight off the vine) and of course - an apple orchard. And Woodside Orchards in Jamesport, NY is the perfect place to start.
Driving down the residential roads leading to the Orchards, you'd never know a delicious treasure was hidden within. The pebbled driveway leads you directly to the Apple Shed.
Once inside you're overwhelmed with the aroma of fresh baked apple pies and breads straight out of the oven. Of course we had to splurge and walk away with a homemade pie made with homegrown Idared apples.
Ok back to apple picking. There were 3 types of apples you could pick off the trees at Woodside - Red Delicious, Mutsu, and Idared (great for baking). I wasn't planning on baking anything with the apples, just eating them so we opted to only pick Red Delicious and Mutsu. For $15 you get a paper bag to fill to the brim with apples. The only rules: no throwing apples, no climbing trees, and you go anywhere you want.
We had such a great time picking apples last weekend. If you've never been you're definitely missing out. Next year I think I'm going to pick a few of the Idared apples and give baking with apples a try. I also plan to purchase a bag strictly for Mutsu apples. We've got only 1 left - I might have to hide it somewhere before Rich eats it.
Have you ever been apple picking? What are your favorite apples to eat and for baking? Leave a comment below.