After two weeks of what felt like nonstop work we decided to take an afternoon off to reconnect as a family and go to a pumpkin patch. We didn’t find a patch, though we did find pumpkins and the most beautiful apple orchard we’ve ever seen, just waiting for us in that perfectly crisp autumn light at Orchard Home Farm.
The farm, a family-owned operation since 1949 sprawls across acres upon acres of rolling apple groves. At this time of year and usually through November the trees are heavy with any number of apple and pear varieties, Jonagold, Empire, Spartan, Harrow Crisp, McIntosh, Ambrosia and Moo’s favorites, Red Delicious (the pink kind). It was fun learning the correct way to pick an apple (twist and lift up rather than pull straight out, which damages next year’s bud). Moo hid between the frosty green leaves and BB even tried lifting the heavy fruits from their limbs to her mouth.
Also at the farm were numerous crates of various squashes – pumpkins, butternut, acorn and spaghetti. They carry other local products, like Dutchman’s Gold honey, and some made in-house like their bumblebee jam and sparkling sweet apple cider. We were surprised to learn that on this particular farm, fall weekends are certainly the time to attend as they bring out local musicians to play on Saturday afternoons and bake on-site throughout the day.
It was especially fun watching Moo pick out a pumpkin she could carry on her own, and we were enamoured with their miniature Indian corn bundles and tiny $.50 pumpkins.
One worker we spoke to mentioned that the farm market stalls used to stay open later in the year as the apples could keep fresh inside into December, but in recent times they see fewer people coming out to pick directly from the trees. What a crying shame, when the ability to see where our fruit comes from and to have a connection to the land and plants that feed us is right on our doorstep.
We intend to visit again as soon as our apple stores are depleted and encourage you to do the same. Who knows how long this opportunity will last and it’s a beautiful local experience, too beautiful to take for granted.