Apple Picking in North Georgia
September is for apples, at least in the states where apples grow. I always thought that apples would not enjoy the heat of the south, but it turns out it’s enough to drive for 1.5 hours towards Appalachian Mountains and voila!
Last year was the first time we did apple picking, so this year it was no question. My son is the biggest apple lover I know; he even bought a hand-turned machine for peeling apples and making a slinky out of them last year at the barn and was itching to use it again. It’s definitely more fun to use such a machine on apples from the farm than some store bought.
Picking fresh apples is so much different than getting fruits through Instacart. Get out from your couch and try living a new vibrant live.. Fresh air, picking fresh fruits .. what can be better?
Long story short, I took my kids and a friend with two kids and off went. Our husbands had things to fix at home, so it was ladies day out, which can be very refreshing! Leaves are not really changing in the north quite yet, but the weather for apple picking was perfect. I took her to the same farm we went last year, but I might try something new next fall. It’s a bit boring when you know what to expect.
This time we went a week later than last year and there were significantly fewer apples on the trees, but still plenty enough for our needs. The farm was busy, the same as last year. I was thinking that there will be a lot less people due to the virus, but everybody wanted to get out I guess. Masks are advised on the premises, but not enforced. About 1/3 of people were wearing masks while waiting in line to purchase apple picking bags and passes and while on the tractor ride.
Last year we ate all the apples we picked, so I went for 3 full pecks this time, which are about 90 apples total. I paid a hefty $75 for them, but it is one time per year experience, so I didn’t mind at all. The price includes a tractor ride to the orchard, and apple donut and a cup of fresh apple cider at the end. Kids can also do rock painting, use a few slides, and cut some fresh flowers, which we skipped because we had plans to eat somewhere afterwards instead. We did enjoy cider and a donut though.
Tractor ride is pretty fun and takes about 10 minutes uphill. We wore masks during this ride to be good citizens around other people, but took them off as soon as we arrived. The entire orchard is on a hill and not too big. As I mentioned above, I saw fewer apples on the trees and more on the ground. The ones on the ground can be fed to three farm mules, which are very happy about it. Kids were happy about feeding them too.
Picking itself was fun for about 2 minutes for kids and after that it’s all whining about how heavy the bag is and how hot they are. I rushed to take a few cute pictures of kids with friends before faces turned completely sour, because Facebook needed to be notified about our experience.
The orchard has many different kinds of apples and all taste much better that from the store, of course. We ate so many apples while picking that two days later I still don’t want any.
After picking our bags full, we stopped by a barn on a hill, where they have fresh water from coolers, plenty of plastic cups, hand sanitizers, and fall decorations.
Kids tossed some bean bags, moms took a few sexy pictures, and we went back to wait for a tractor.
The entire experience took about two hours, but of course, you can spend 5 hours with smaller kids and if you take it slower. It’s nice to get out of the city and spend a beautiful day in the mountains for sure. Next year we will look for another farm just to experience something new, even though the system is the same everywhere. Another hope is that by next fall corona will be a distant memory and we won’t have to eye each other suspiciously from behind our masks. But even this year I would still recommend visiting a farm and trying to enjoy life as much as possible, especially with some Mexican food and a cold margarita afterwards!