At Scott's Yankee Farmer in East Lyme, apple picking season is in full swing. Last weekend's glorious weather brought people out in droves to fill bags full of apples, take rides in hay carts around the orchard, pick the last of the summer berries and take home a pumpkin for Halloween.
"It really feels like fall," said Karen Scott, whose husband's grandfather founded the East Lyme farm. "Now I think people are finally thinking, yeah, it's this time of year."
The branches of the region’s apple trees are heavy with apples just ripe for the picking. At orchards in Mystic, Gales Ferry, East Lyme and Preston varieties such as Macintosh, Macoun and Empire, are plentiful and expected to continue to be so for most of October.
“We’re having a great season, there’s a very good supply of apples,” Amy Holmberg of Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry said.
Holmberg Orchards along with many pick your own places such as Old Orchard Farm in East Lyme and Whittles in Mystic are already in the midst of the apple-picking season, and depending on the weather will be open right up to Halloween.
"It's been really good, we've had no problems," Bethany McGuggon of Whittles said.
In New London County apple pickers will find up to seven varieties of apples. Most varieties, like the Macintosh, Macoun and the red and golden delicious apples are sweet and soft enough to eat right from the tree. Varieties, like the Pippin, Russet and Baldwin are better suited for cider or pies, and are hardy enough to store through the winter.
Linda Piotrowicz from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture said they expect the season for pick-your-own apples to be very strong, and that while the late spring frost destroyed some apple crops it has mainly been wholesale suppliers affected.
“The quality is good, the weather is great, it’s a great time to get outside,” Piotrowicz said.
Grab some reusable totes and head to the nearest pick your own apple orchard:
Everyday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
12 Orchard Lane, Gales Ferry, Conn.
Maple Lane Farms
Everyday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
57 N.W. Corner Rd. Preston, Conn.
Check website for hours
436 Boston Post Rd. East Lyme, Conn.
Old Orchard Farm
Check Facebook for special events, coffee houses.
22A Scott Road, East Lyme, Conn. (860) 739-4779
Whittle's Willow Spring Farm
Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1030 Noank Ledyard Rd. Mystic, Conn.
And if after you’ve brought your haul back home you’re not sure what to do with all those apples make one of these delicious dishes:
Apple And Rhubarb Cobbler With Vanilla Sauce: This is a nice comfort-food dessert to serve on a crisp fall evening. Rhubarb is still around and apples are of course, aplenty
Nobby Apple Cake: This apple cake looks like a cake but tastes as good as a pie. It is easy to make and travels well.
Rustic Apple Pie With The World's Best Crust: This crust, which is a cinch to make in a food processor, totally delivers on taste, flakiness and ease to work with. I will never lose this recipe!
Related Topics: Local Food