What better way to spend a splendid October Sunday, than to go on an apple-picking outing? That is exactly what we did this morning. We rounded up our family, and some friends, loaded up a mini-van, and headed north on 684. While there are several locations in Northern Westchester to pick apples and pumpkins during the fall season, our destination of choice today was Outhouse Orchards.Located just a short distance off the exit for Hardscrabble Road in North Salem, Outhouse Orchards is a family-owned, long standing orchard, and a tradition for many Westchester families. While we headed out rather early, thinking to beat the crowds, we were in very good company! It was not excessively crowded when we arrived at about 10:30am, and parking was a-ok. We parked, and then had the great fun of having a hay ride to bring us from parking area to picking area.
Once there, we purchased our 1/2 bushel bags ($25 for each bag), and were off, up the great hill to the trees. On the way up, there were friendly shouts from patron to patron, each of us seeking the coveted “picking pole” that will reach the tops of the trees, where most of the fruit still resides. For a dollar exchanged between strangers (the deposit needed for the pole), we found ourselves quickly with two poles in hand, and were filling bags quicker than we thought possible.
As for me, I still believe there is some fun in climbing up into the limbs of the trees, and sampling the fresh, crisp apples of many varieties. Today, we filled our bag with MacIntosh and Courtlandt apples. The difference between a freshly picked apple, and the food store produce aisle apple is incomparable. There is just nothing like it! I never saw the kids eat so many apples, and I have a feeling there might be some tummy aches tonight!
We even found a few pear trees on the way back down the hill, and managed to get one good pear in our bushel bag. But, of course, there is not just apple picking at Outhouse. There was a well-stocked pumpkin patch, face painting, pony rides, and a bouncy castle for the kids. The smell of funnel cakes permeated the area, and the mood was fall and festive! Outhouse also boasts a huge country store, with everything from pies to candles, and all good things in between.
For a fun filled, family fall day out, hop onto 684, or take some back roads to Outhouse Orchards. You can find them on the web here, and you will be glad you visited. Just make sure you have all ingredients on hand for apple pies!!