Pull out the sweaters and grab your baskets. Crisp, fall weather signals apple-picking time in Philadelphia. Visit a neighbor's tree or a nearby orchard for the freshest apples possible. Several apple orchards operate right outside Philadelphia. All of them offer additional products, such as blueberries, peaches and jams, and activities such as hayrides and face painting.
Apple-picking season generally runs from September through late October in Philadelphia, depending on the orchard's location, as well as the apple variety. Look at the ground color first to determine if an apple is ripe. The ground color is the color of the side of the apple facing the tree. Red apples have a creamy ground color when ripe, while green apples' ground color changes from deep green to yellow-green. Taste the apple to determine ripeness. Ripe apples are crisp, juicy and sweet. Immature apples taste wooden and dry. Overripe apples are mushy and starchy.
Pick apples by grasping the apple in one hand and twisting it lightly. The stem will come off with the apple.
Sorting and Storing Apples
Sort the apples and remove any that are wormy or bruised. Use large apples first because they don't store as well as small ones. Store apples in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator. Store boxes of apples in an unheated garage or shed until temperatures dip below freezing. Freeze or can any other apples.
Visiting an Apple Orchard
Several orchards are located within 30 minutes of downtown Philadelphia. Choose a crisp, cool day for apple picking and go early to beat the crowds. Bring boxes or baskets in which to store the apples. Plan to spend at least an hour or two picking apples.
Philadelphia Apple Orchards
Linvilla Orchard offers pick-your-own apples, as well as hayrides, face painting, school group trips and a visit to a "witch" in a nearby wood.
137 W. Knowton Road
Media, Pennsylvania, 19063
In addition to apple picking, Shady Brook Farm offers hayrides and a haunted barn.
Shady Brook Farm
931 Stony Hill Road
Yardley, Pennsylvania, 19067
Snipes Farm has been an orchard since 1682. The family farm is currently managed by a brother-sister team.
890 W. Bridge St.
Morrisville, Pennsylvania, 19067