Once September hits, we all likely fall into one of two groups: people holding on to summer for dear life, or those anxiously waiting for fall, PSL and cinnamon brooms in hand. This past weekend, I was able to have the best of both worlds.
One of my favorite fall activities – apple picking – officially opened for the season. The 70+ degree temps and sunshine made for a great day out with family and friends. And, my house now permanently smells like cinnamon brooms from all of the applesauce I made yesterday afternoon. Yes and yes.
What to Expect
There are a lot of great places you can go apple picking in WNY. My favorite is Blackman Homestead Farm, located in Lockport, N.Y. , which is where we went this past weekend. The farm offers a lot to keep kids happy: animals (goats, turkeys, and at times, a pony), a hay maze, pumpkin picking, and of course, apple picking.
Let’s not forget about mom and dad. They have a great little stand that sells anything from pears and concord grapes to maple syrup and small baked goods. They also have apple cider slushies (amazing). And, if you’re feeling saucy, a hard-cider tasting area for adults. Basically, everyone wins.
Other perks – they take cash and credit and always have ample parking.
Apple Picking Tips for Success
- Know what apples are available for picking. Most “you-pick” places will have a schedule posted somewhere – some apples are better for eating, while others are better for applesauce or baking. I usually take a look at the list of when what types of apples will be ready when and pick my weekend based on that.
- Bring a wagon or cart. Apples are heavy. While most places do have carts you can use, they can be hard to come by once it gets busy, especially if you are going on a weekend. We usually bring the good ol’ radio flyer wagon so we can easily haul our son and our loot!
- Go early! A beautiful weekend day = a very busy apple-picking session. I like to go first thing in the morning before stuff gets crazy. It lets me enjoy my little guy and the experience.
Blackman always has a great selection of good quality apples. At $1.00/lb, you really can’t go wrong. Also, I swear their apples last forever. OK, maybe not forever, but my stash from last year easily let me make applesauce for my son for two solid months. They were like the energizer bunnies of apples. Never again will I pay double the price for apples that last half as long at the grocery store.
If you’ve never gone apple picking, I highly recommend it (unless you hate apples, then, maybe not so much).
If you’d like to learn more about Blackman Homestead Farm, visit their website or Facebook page.
Happy (almost) fall, friends!
WRITTEN BY JESSICA
Jessica Christensen is a communications professional by day and a wife and mommy (to an awesome little boy) by night. When she’s not chasing both of her favorite redheads around, she’s silently correcting your grammar and talking up St. Bonaventure University. Follow her @PRJESSICAC.