It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning color and we get to be cosy without the actual cold. What better way to kick off the season than with Fall’s most perfect, edible love child.
Apple varieties will soon take over your local farmers market but you can easily pick your own apples for a sweet farm-to-table (or belly!) experience. Meander through the orchards and fill up your bushel to take home for pies, jellies and snacking later on. Here are our top picks for the season. Be sure to always call the farm ahead of time and bring your own containers.
Milburn Orchards is located in Elkton, Maryland and has been family run since 1902. They offer a pick-your-own adventure every weekend throughout the harvest season. Royal Gala, Honeycrisp and Orange Honey varietals are already available with more to come as the season picks up. Milburn Orchards also has delicious light lunch and sweet treat options (did someone say homemade ice cream sandwiches?) on the Orchard View Deck to refuel after apple picking. Pro tip: Get a freshly-baked pie from the market to take home after apple picking.
About an hour from DC, Hollin Farms is located in Delaplane, Virginia, and specializes in grass-fed Angus beef alongside the pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Apples and pumpkins are available for picking with Fuji, Empire and Golden Delicious apples already in full swing. Pro tip: bring cash on the weekends to avoid the credit card line.
Larriland Farm is a family owned and operated farm in Western Howard County, Maryland. Always the crowd pleaser, Larriland Farm has hayrides and a straw maze to get lost in once you’re done picking apples. Next to ripen are the Empire apples and there are 14 more varieties to follow after that. Pro tip: best to go in October when other Fall favorites (pumpkins and squash) will be ripe and ready too.
Pick-your-own apple season has kicked off at Butler’s Orchard. Located in Germantown, Maryland, Butler’s Orchard is perfect for a family adventure. Their famous Pumpkin Festival means pumpkin picking, hayrides, jumps in the hayloft and the Pumpkinland exhibition (a display of fairytale characters built from pumpkins) along with your pick-you-own experience. The bakery also has fresh bread, baked goods and jams and jellies available. Pro tip: Butler’s Orchard will be closed September 21-25 to prep for the Pumpkin Festival, which begins September 26-27 and continues through weekends in October.
An easy 45 minute drive from DC, Homestead Farm is located in Poolesville, Maryland, and is run by the Allnut family who have been farming in the area since 1763! They offer pick-your-own fruits and veggies throughout harvest season. Fuji, Crimson Crisp and Jonagold apples are already ripe for picking. Their pumpkin patch (and pumpkin picking) is open from late September on. Homestead’s market offers a ton of fruits and veggies alongside delicious jams, hot sauces and honey. Pro tip: bring your camera - between the pumpkins and the tiny children playing amongst the pumpkins, it’s an overload of insta-worthy moments.