Apple Picking: Public Transit Makes It Possible
Those spending their first Fall in New York are likely either in awe of the changing leaves’ beauty or how few of them there are on the streets. Although the city puts effort into planting trees along the edges of most of our sidewalks it is not quite the same as roaming through a well-planted orchard. According to the New York Apple Association, New York State is the second-largest producer of apples in the country. Most of the orchards are a bit more than a hop, skip or jump from Clark Street and 95 Wall. However, if you can make it to Grand Central or Penn Station, you’re only a trip away from a beautiful orchard. If cider and donuts are your kind of thing, here is a list of farms you might want to try before the snow starts falling:
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard:
About an hour and fifteen minute train ride north from Grand Central, Harvest Moon offers apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, live music, and some unidentifiable thing called “apple cannons.” They are open on weekends from 10am-5pm and their admission fee sits at $5 per person or $25 for a half bushel picking bag.
130 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, NY 10560
Also harvesting both pumpkin and apples, Outhouse Orchards claims to be the “Home of the Happy Apple.” Originally a dairy farm founded in the 1800’s, Outhouse Orchards lies just over an hour north of Grand Central. They are open 9am-5pm daily through the end of October and prepaid picking packs are $25 a pop.
139 Hardscrabble Road
PO Box 202
North Salem, NY 10560
Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm:
Over the next few weeks Wilkens will be offering a variety of apples, including Winesap, Fuji and Ida Red. About an hour and a half up the MetroNorth’s Hudson line from Grand Central, the farm offers hayrides and picking poles to assist in the process, but the views from the trainride itself are reason enough to go. Picking is open from 10am-4:30pm and apples are purchased by the pound.
1335 White Hill Road
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
At the end of the Gladstone NJ Transit Line an hour and a half from Penn Station, Alstede Farms offers a variety of crops to pick and take home: apples, of course, but also sweet corn, berries and flowers. This farm has its own farm store stocked with their own canned and fresh goods and is free on weekdays. On weekends, admission is $7, plus tax.
1 Alstede Farms Lane
Chester, NJ 07930