“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
There’s no better, more beautiful time of year than the fall. Between the stunning foliage and the crisp, invigorating weather, spending time outside in the fall is an absolute must. Although my heart sometimes aches for the sweet, slow style of the south, I get to experience my favorite season in the north. This weekend I went apple picking at a charming little orchard in central PA. It was a quintessential brisk fall day, absolutely perfect for spending the day at the orchard. While many people make corn mazes and pumpkin picking yearly fall traditions, apple picking is another perfect autumn activity. If you haven’t put this on your to-do list of fall festivities, here are 5 reasons to go apple picking this fall.
You’re Supporting Local Farms
Unfortunately, American farmers don’t receive as much love (or money) as they should. In fact, this underappreciated profession typically yields only about 10 cents profit per dollar when a store sells their produce. By picking your own apples directly from an orchard you’re helping to make sure that farmers make more money for their valuable crops by purchasing directly from the source. Supporting your local farms in this way is a benefit to you as well, as it helps to ensure that these farms stay in business, providing you with the opportunity to eat fresh, local produce all year.
You Know Where Your Apples Come From
In a world where online shopping is more popular than ever, and tractor-trailers filled with merchandise rule the roads, it’s not easy to know exactly where your purchased goods are coming from. The same is true for shopping at supermarkets too, as much of the produce that lines the shelves is likely imported. While we’re never going to be able to fully get away from imported produce, apple picking can help do that a little bit, and provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly where your food is coming from.
You’re Getting the Freshest Fruit Around
More often than not, the produce you see at your supermarket has been sitting on the shelves for a while. Chance is, too, that the produce has had some travel time as well, making it less than freshly picked. Picking apples at a local orchard, however, can guarantee noting but the freshest produce. Also, if you’re worried about whether your fruit is considered organic, was subjected to chemicals or contains GMO’s, learning about the orchard and how they grow their apples can put those fears to rest.
It’s Fun (and healthy too!)
Who wouldn’t love to spend a perfect autumn day outside doing festive fall things? Going apple picking will no doubt fulfill your craving to do all things fall, and even help you stay healthy too. By spending the day outside you’re gifting your body with much needed Vitamin D and fresh air, both of which are harder to come by in the winter months ahead. Also, the apples you pick are packed with Vitamin C, Antioxidants and fiber, all essential nutrients to keep you healthy. To top it off, an apple orchard is the perfect backdrop for a fall photo shoot, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a festive fall Facebook profile, or a new instagram pic (#nofilter)?
It Will Give You Inspiration in the Kitchen
Coming home with bags of apples is the perfect excuse to get busy in the kitchen. If you have picked more than enough apples for an endless supply of pies, dumplings and cider, your extra apples are the perfect excuse to get creative and incorporate this fruit into every meal. Between Pinterest, Epicurious and every cooking blog in between, there are countless recipes for apple inspired dishes from breakfast to dessert.
If you haven’t gone apple picking yet this fall, it’s time. Between supporting local farmers, getting the freshest produce around and having fun while doing it, there’s really no reason not to. So find a local orchard and enjoy this fall activity which is bound to become an autumn tradition.