Apple picking, top orchards in Virginia and Maryland

Photo credit: "Homestead Farm Poolesville MD Oct 2010" ©2010 by ShashiBellamkonda via Creative Commons

Time is ticking for those of you who love to celebrate autumn by plucking your own apples. It’s the tail end of harvest season and that means most orchards are bustling with apple-pickin’ visitors.

Here are three important tips for your next autumn-inspired excursion.

• Always call ahead or check the orchard’s website for an apple-update. You don’t want to drive two hours if the trees have already been plucked clean.

• If pick-your-own is no longer an option at your chosen orchard, see what else they have to offer. Some will still let you picnic at the orchard or let you watch them make homemade apple cider, apple butter or apple pies. And most orchards will have lots of freshly-picked apples for your own selection.

• Know your apple math. Some orchards sell apples by the peck. That’s about 10-12 pounds or 30-34 medium sized apples. A bushel is 42-48 pounds. That’s 126-144 apples.

Now grab your GPS and hit those apple orchards!

Stribling Orchard, Markham VA
A sixth generation farming family, the Striblings offer up 30 acres of apple trees.

Crooked Run Orchard, Purcellville VA
As an eco-friendly orchard, Crooked Run is committed to apples and all-things-green.

Hartland Orchard, Markham VA
There aren’t many apples left on the trees, but there’s still plenty to do and see!

Hollin Farms, Delaplane VA
Hollin Farm just had its first harvest from their 4-year-old apple trees. Unfortunately, pick-your-own is no longer an option, but there are plenty of pre-picked Fugis and Golden Delicious. They also have 10 acres of pumpkins!

Homestead Farm, Poolesville MD
Apples, hayrides and pumpkins – does it get more “autumn” than that?

Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville VA
This one is a bit of a drive, but if you mix in some leaf peeping, the road trip is well worth it!

And once you’ve got a bucketful, check out ABC7’s Pinterest page for some delicious apple recipes.

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