By Jennifer Weber
Happy September! The (unofficial) beginning of the Fall Season is here and you know what that means— it’s time for the yearly excursion out to an orchard to pick apples with the family. Before you head out the door, call ahead to make sure the apples are available and ready for picking. And then after checking the weather forecast, grab your camera and make sure to stop at the ATM because some farms might not take credit cards. Oh and don’t forget bring a sweatshirt just in case the weather changes while driving out to the farm (after all, this is Western New York, and you never know!)
And one last suggestion? Always pick more apples than you think you need. Because in addition to the apple a day philosophy, there’s something to be said for spending an afternoon in the kitchen making homemade applesauce and pie fillings for later use during the cold, long, snowy winter. Your future self will thank you for the reminder when smells of warm, fresh apple pie fill the house in January.
2356 Shirley Road
North Collins, NY 14111
Stonehill Orchard located in North Collins offers over 20 varieties of apples to choose from. Here are the estimated apple availability dates from their Facebook page: Gala (Sept. 5), Jonamac (Sept. 11), McIntosh (Sept. 12), Cortland (Sept. 15), Spartamac (Sept. 15), Shizuka (Sept. 19), Macoun (Sept. 19), and Liberty (Sept. 19). In addition to apples, Stonehill Orchard has u-pick grapes when in season and sells local honey and maple syrup.
Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards
3724 Quaker Road
Gasport, NY 14067
Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards located in Gasport, NY is a 340-acre destination with 10 different varieties of pick your own apples (according to their website Ginger Gold and Gala are ready for picking) and so much more. Make sure to plan extra time to visit the brewpub/gastropub. Plus, there’s an event going on every weekend! Check out the Harvest Music Festival on Sunday, Sept. 10 from 12-6 p.m. And there’s always plenty of activities for kids including pony and hay rides, a petting zoo, playground and bounce house.
Sanger Farms and Bakery
852 Lockport Road
Youngstown, NY 14174
Sanger Farms in Youngstown, NY is ready and open for pick your own apples (offering 15 different varieties throughout the season) and pick your own peaches. The farm offers free hayrides and spots for picnics, which you will want to take advantage of once you step foot into their bakery and newly opened Back Barn Café.
Blackman Homestead Farm
4472 Thrall Road
Lockport, NY 14094
The Blackman Homestead Farm located in Lockport, NY will be open for pick your own apples (McIntosh, Jonamac and Gala) on Sept. 15. In addition to 15 varieties of apples the 160 acre farm sells a variety of products including fruit butters and jams, applesauce and cider and will have fresh pears available in the middle of the month, alongside other seasonal produce.
10609 Ridge Road
Medina, NY 14103
LynOaken Farms located in Medina, NY offers weekend wagon rides to the orchard for your apple picking adventure. According to their website the early varieties currently available are Gingergolds, Gravenstein and Wealthy apples. The unique distinction that separates this orchard from the rest is alongside the 15 varieties of classic apples available, the heritage apple orchard contains 368 different varieties of apples you just simply can’t find at a corner farm stand. Make sure to check out the website for the complete listing, it’s quite the list!
17260 Ridge Road
Holley, NY 14470
Hurd Orchards is a family owned fruit, flower and canning farm located in Holley, NY. They offer an impressive number of 49 different varieties of apples to choose from as well as pick your own peaches, blackberries and raspberries, which are still available in September.