I am so excited that autumn is upon us, even if it’s still hot and muggy in the Atlanta area. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. The weather becomes cool and breezy. The leaves charge to a fiery color. I get to take out my boots, blazers, and cardigans from the back of my closet. I mean, what’s not to love? One of the best parts about fall in Georgia is that there are so many activities held this time of the year. Apple picking is one of those great activities that the whole family can enjoy.
We took the kids up to Ellijay, GA a few years ago to go apple picking for the first time. Being from Florida I have been to strawberry fields and orange groves, but I had never been to an apple orchard. The place we choose to go to not only had an orchard to pick apples, but a bunch of activities as well. We had such a blast I decided to head up there again this year. I figured my daughter is a little older now and will be able to enjoy it fully.
I found a great deal on Groupon for B.J Reece Apple House and Orchards and after reading the reviews I decided we would go there. The drive from Marietta to Ellijay was a little over an hour, which is not such a long trip for little kids. I was a little nervous about the weather because the forecast called for thunderstorms throughout the day and it rained a little on our way up there, but the weather was great when we arrived. It was a little overcast, there was a bit of a chill in the air, but it stayed dry the whole time we were there.
Here are a few pictures from the trip.
They also had cow milking, a cow train, tractor rides, pony rides, a scavenger hunt, a giant jumping pillow, a zip line and pig races. It really was a great time where all my family members had fun and got involved. If you are planning on apple picking in Georgia here are a few tips before you go.
1. Go early in the season. A few years ago when we went apple picking it was close to the end of the season and there wasn’t many apples to choose from. Most of the trees were bare. This year we went early and the trees were filled with apples, so much so that many of the branches seemed to be drooping from the weight. So go early on in the season so you have plenty of apples to pick.
2. Pick ripe apples. Apples, unlike bananas, are the kind of fruits that stop ripening once they are picked so it is important to pick apples that are fully ripened. Look for apples that are on the outside of the tree furthest away from the trunk because these apples will ripen first.
3. Twist, don’t pull. When you pick your apples off the tree it is best to twist or roll the apple towards the branch so that the stem comes off rather than pull the apple down. This will help avoid a bunch of apples falling at once and bonking you on the head!
4. Do not pick the apples off the ground. This might be common sense for adults, but for small children who can’t reach the branches easily this might be appealing. Make sure you express to your children that picking the apples from the ground are not a good idea. However, it is ok to grab an apple off the ground if you freshly picked it and it has fallen on the floor.
5. Gently place apples in your basket or bag. Placing them instead of throwing them will help avoid bruising and punctures.
6. Do not eat the apples right there. I cringed every time I saw a person pick an apple and eat it. The worst was when they took a few bites and then threw it on the ground. Remember that these apples are dirty and they need to be clean properly before you eat them.
7. When you get home, store apples in a dark cool place.