Thursday, September 8, 2016

Where to Pick Apples in Upstate New York

New York City may be the one known as The Big Apple, but don’t be fooled, the entire state of New York enjoys delicious apples. New York has 8-million acres of nutrient-rich farmland with some of the nation’s most fertile soils.

With more than 700 orchards in New York, you may have trouble deciding which one to visit first. They all offer a diverse variety of apples, both modern and heirloom. Apple season typically lasts from early September to early November, providing just a short period of time for you to try these luscious apples.

There are many U-Pick farms and tours, so check out our suggestions below to find the one that fits your preferences. This graphic shares where you can find popular different apple varieties. Although we only included five, there are plenty of others to try at these farms.

Canton Apples

Canton Apples’ orchards are estimated to be 40 to 50 years old. “We use what we call the ‘Earth-Friendly Farming Technique’ by hardly ever using pesticides,” says Joel Howie, owner and manager of Canton Apples. “If we have to, it’s probably only one application a year.”

Canton Apples cares about all the flavors and doesn’t want the unique tastes to be lost because of all the hybrids developed. “While we have some modern varieties, we like to educate people on the older varieties that have been less popular because of mass advertising and production for modern apples,” says Joel.

While Canton Apples specialize in heirloom varieties, they do have a mouthwatering Honeycrisp you don’t want to miss.
Their U-Pick season begins September 10 and their orchards will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the apples are gone.

Parishville Center Orchard

Parishville Center, a family-operated orchard run by owner Gary Snell and family, has trees 10 to 12 years old. You may have had one of their apples before because they are sold at many local grocery stores and high schools.

Parishville Center orchards are home to about 400 trees. While trellis is a popular option for farmers to set up their orchards, Gary chose to be “old fashioned” with lined trees instead so that visitors can walk down the rows. The trees are semi-standard, or about 12 feet tall.

“Since I tried the Honeycrisp ten years ago or so, I have always liked it,” said Gary. “I now have about 150 Honeycrisp trees out there.”

You can visit Parishville Center Orchard starting Friday, September 9. They are open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also have a roadside stand when apples are in season.

Peter Ten Eyck

Indian Ladder Farms

Indian Ladder Farms is celebrating their centennial this year. Current owner Peter Ten Eyck’s grandfather founded the farm in 1916. He was a congressman and commissioner of agriculture when he decided he wanted to start a farm of his own.

The farm started as a dairy and fruit farm, but today focuses solely on fruits and vegetables. The area’s commercial development won’t ever affect Indian Ladder Farms because they have retired development rights, so the land will forever be in agriculture.

“Principally, we want to sell all that we grow locally to people that live in our community,” says Peter.

Starting the first weekend of September through the last weekend of October, you can pick your own apples. And if you’re feeling thirsty afterward, they have expanded their offerings and have started Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery with their own gown hops, barley, and oats.

Critz Farms

Critz Farms began as a Christmas tree farm but has grown immensely over the past decade. Today, the farm’s full experience offers much more than just trees. Their picking season lasts seven weekends and provides plenty of entertainment, with live music from local bands, a corn maze, petting zoo, children’s play area, and one of the oldest cider presses in the United States. And if you’re in the mood, Critz Farms even offers a winery and brewery. The tasting room is open during all the festivities.

“My wife and I have been in agriculture for 35 years now,” says Matthew Critz, owner of Critz Farms. “We planted apples 11 years ago and started picking 5 years ago.”

The apple-picking season begins the weekend of September 17 and lasts until the last weekend of October, a total of seven weekends.

Saratoga Apple

Saratoga Apple is family-owned and operated and has been for five generations. You might recognize the name because they attend many local farmers’ markets and love to serve the community.

Although apples are their focus, Saratoga Apple is well-known for their apple cider donuts that are made daily and available year-round.
Eric Darrow, family employee, shares all the exciting things they have planned this year. “We have a new tasting room that will be opening soon that has beers, ciders, and wine,” says Eric. “We have made renovations and a seating area for the tasting room.”

Eric is excited to share the hard cider that he and his family have been making for years.

Their season begins September 13 and continues through early November. Be sure and visit their store, where there are pretty of samples to taste as you decide which apple variety is your favorite.

Rulfs Orchard

Bob Rulfs, owner of Rulfs Orchard, started his farm in the 1950s and has been adapting and adding to it ever since. Rulfs Orchard offers more than 15 types of farm-grown produce and a delicious bakery for visitors with a sweet tooth.

There is also a roadside stand open year-round to pick up staples like fresh apples and pies. In the fall, pick apples and pumpkins during a visit to their farm and adjoining pumpkin patch.

U-Pick season starts in September and will last until apples run out.

Bowman Orchards

Bowman Orchards has been family-run since it was purchased in 1952 by Ray and Bev Bowman. Today their son Kevin Bowman and his wife Martha own the farm, while many of the other Bowman siblings step up to help when needed.

The farm always has many different delicious apple varietals to choose from. If you’re interested in more than just picking, they also offer guided apple-picking tours where you can learn a little more about the farm and the process of growing apples.

Stop by and pick some apples this season – Bowman Orchards is open now until the season is over.

Enjoy exploring orchards in the area and everything that the great state of New York has to offer. If you love a particular area, one of our agents will be more than happy to get you in your dream home! Contact us today.