There’s something so sweet and nostalgic about picking fresh apples from an apple orchard (even if you’ve never done it before). It is one of those iconic activities that you see in movies when the characters are getting ready for autumn. Although it still doesn’t feel like fall in Central Texas, we can still enjoy the season with apple picking right here in our home state.
Here are some places to pick your own apples and how to properly pick your fruit for a delicious seasonal experience.
Where to pick
Sonlight Farms – Mason, TX
This adorable farm in the heart of quaint downtown Mason, TX
is right out of a storybook. Not only can you pick your own apples, but there a
multitude of other activities that this location offers. And because it is in
the center of town, there is lots more to explore just past the orchard.
The Apple Conservatory – Austin, TX
The Apple Conservatory is a small urban orchard that also doubles
as a research facility. I’m not sure what they’re researching, but this apple orchard
seems like a convenient place to get some fresh produce and explore the city
Young’s Orchard – Wichita Falls, TX
Young’s Orchard is not far from the city, but is bursting
with fresh produce, just waiting to be picked. While apples are on the list as
a pickable (is that a word?) fruit during the fall months, the orchard also has
other produce available like cantaloupe, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
How to pick properly
Call ahead to make sure the crops you want to
pick are still available. It’s also a good idea to check the orchard’s hours
and prices before making the trek, especially if it is far from home.
Bring containers. Most you-pick farms don’t have containers available for taking your produce home. So, make sure you come prepared with your own “doggie bag.”
Be prepared. Bring protective clothing like hats, close-toed shoes and sunscreen. And if you are allergic to bees (which are known to hang around fruit-filled plants), then bring your medications just in case.
Watch for parked and moving tractors and avoid walking in front of them. The driver might not be able to see you below.
Leave Fido at home. Most you-pick farms don’t allow pets because it violates health codes.
Keep fruit cool when you return home. Freeze or jar excess fruit to make your produce last longer.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.