7 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Local Apple Picking Experience
Believe it or not, there's a wrong way to pick apples. Here are seven mistakes you don't want to make at your local orchard.
Going to a large orchard on the weekend
Apple picking season is a great time to be in the Hudson Valley. Unfortunately, everyone else has also realized this, so many of the larger orchards are overrun with tourists. If you can visit during the week you'll probably avoid most of the obnoxious crowds that descend upon the area every weekend. But if you have a busy schedule why not try a smaller, local orchard? We visited Meadowbrook Farms in Wappingers Falls on a Saturday morning. They had tons of trees loaded with eight different varieties of apples and we basically had the whole orchard to ourselves.
Grabbing the apple wrong
Believe it or not, there's a wrong way to pick an apple. You'll want to roll the apple upwards instead of tugging on it. As you twist the apple up, the stem will break in just the right spot so you won't damage the apple. You'll also save the buds on the branch so more apples can bloom next year.
Starting on the wrong side of the orchard
There are two reasons why it's smart to walk all the way to the furthest end of the orchard first and then make your way back to the entrance. Let's face it, most people are lazy. That's why you'll notice the trees closest to the entrance will always have the least amount of apples. You'll find the fullest trees with the biggest apples in the back. Another bonus of starting at the far end of the orchard is that by the time your apple sack is filled to the brim and too heavy to hold, you'll already be back at the entrance.
Picking way too many apples
It's hard not to get carried away when you're out in the orchard looking at all of those fresh apples. It's probably good to remember that you're going to have to actually eat all of those apples you're stuffing into your sack. If you know what variety of apple you enjoy the most, make sure to head that way first so if you pick too many, at least they'll be the kind of apples you really like.
Not sampling while you're picking
If you don't eat a few apples while picking them you're doing it wrong. All of the orchards I've ever been to actually encourage visitors to pick an apple or two off of the tree and give them a taste. You'll never had a better apple than the one that came right off the branch.
Picking apples too late in the day
As we mentioned before, you can avoid most of the crowds by getting to the orchard earlier in the day. But another advantage of getting there when it opens is the weather. Fall is terribly unpredictable. Most people throw on the flannel shirts and jackets in the morning, but by the afternoon you're stripping off layers and lugging them around the sweltering heat. Plan to get all of your apple picking done before lunch and you'll avoid most of that harsh, afternoon sunlight in the Fall.
Being too quick
Don't bother taking the time to drive all the way out to the orchard to pick apples if you're going to be in a rush. Apple picking is a great time to put down the phone, connect with your family and enjoy the outdoors. Take your time, enjoy the moment and don't get too stressed out if the kids are dragging behind. Apple picking season only comes once a year, so make the most of it.