It was a beautiful sight to take in, apple trees, row upon row, for miles. It looked like they extended into the horizon becoming one with the Catskill Mountains, a mass of apple trees, tapering into mountains, ascending into the clouds.
When we selected our bags, the man said he thought only the golden delicious variety was left, it being so late in the season. To our surprise, the further we crept, we came across a group of plump rouged macouns. Grinning, from the thrill of discovery, mesh bags in hand, it was apple picking time!
Apple picking, has to be one of my favorite autumn activities. I love the hunt for the plumpest, juiciest apples. The satisfying feeling of filling your bag with a group of imperfect, plump, leafy apples. I live for the smell of the earth and the streams of golden light from the sun filtering through the trees.
This year, I grabbed the boys and scooped up my friend Fred (you know you’ve found a true friend if they’re childless and nocturnal, yet still agree to spend the afternoon in an apple orchard with you, your toddler and your infant).
Our orchard of choice was Fishkill Farms, about an hour north of the city.
It was a great choice. They had a bit of everything.
You could pick apples, pumpkins and even a selection of seasonal vegetables. I stuck with the apples, since my little one was going to the pumpkin patch with his preschool.
The country store smelled like apple cinnamon potpourri. Pies, tarts, jams, vinegars, ciders and pastries were on tantalizing display. I couldn’t resist taking home some of the freshly harvested vegetables and squash.
Outside, despite the chill, the atmosphere was festive. Picnic tables lined the green spaces as live music serenaded us from a makeshift pavilion stage. On one side, there was a glorious stand selling hot apple cider and perhaps the best old fashioned donuts I’ve ever tasted. At the far corner, near the parking lot, a full-fledged barbeque was underway. Clouds of hickory scented smoke danced and vanished into thin air, as platters of chicken, ribs, burgers, corn and hot dogs emerged in savory gluttonous glory.
Sampling a little bit of everything (why not?), we took our time, eating, listening to music and basking in the ephemeral mid-autumn in between.
Fishkill Farms we’ll be back! Thank you for the apples and awesome memories.
Fishkill Farms (9 Fishkill Farm Rd, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533)