While summer will officially last until September 23rd, that doesn’t mean you can’t herald the much anticipated arrival of fall and all the joy it brings. Sure, it’s time to send the kids back to school and even though you worked all summer, August felt like the Sunday of the work week, resulting in September feeling like Monday, but it’s the beginning of a beautiful time of year! The scorching heat is about done, the leaves are changing, and apples are ripe for the pickin’.
Pump the brakes on pumpkin everything, it’s time for apples to shine! Pick apples, eat apples, drink apples, love apples. I got the chance to go apple picking on a rainy morning at MacKintosh Fruit Farm and it was amazing. I highly recommend picking in the rain because the apples we’re so bright against the grey sky backdrop. I grabbed honey crisp and yes they were delicious and no you can’t have some, go pick your own! If you’re in a rush and don’t have the time to experience the magic of apple picking, MacKintosh has a market side where you can quickly get all the delicious apples your heart desires! If you’re in the Winchester area, you won’t want to miss the Apple Harvest Festival.
Shenandoah County has numerous apple orchards, Woodbine Farms being one of the local favorites! I’m told they have incredible apple butter, along with apple pies and caramel apple pies baked on site! Oh, and I must try their cookies. With so many baked apple goods being thrown my way, I’m prepared to visit Woodbine Farms this very minute. Great Country Farms in Bluemont really gets in the apple spirit with their Apple Gala and Cider Festival, as well as having a variety of apples ready for you to come and pick yourself!
The amazing year round Harrisonburg Farmers Market has a couple of vendors with a selection of apples, notably Ryan’s Orchard boasting 20 different varieties of apples! Outside the city of Harrisonburg is Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse, home of Old Hill Hard Cider and an annual Apple Harvest Celebration! Harrisonburg loves their apples so much so that The Rocktown Gift Shoppe will be having an Apple Day sale and the Hardesty-Higgins House will have a display of Old Hill Hard Cider in their visitor’s center. What can we say? We love our apples here in the Valley!