How Do You Like Them Apples? Apple Picking in the Northwest

Healthy Eating Friday, October 11, 2013 Written by

Even though we pine for the lost days of summer, visions of cozy autumn help ease the seasonal transition. Think woolly sweaters, snug boots, pumpkin-flavored lattes, Sunday Night Football and warm-from-the-oven apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider, apple butter… you get the gist.

Lucky for us, we live in one of the country’s best regions for enjoying those shiny-red gems of fall. Apple harvesting season begins here in mid-August and typically ends in early November, producing each year more than 100 million boxes that each weigh about 40 pounds.

Where to Go Apple Picking

Apple PickingIn Washington, head to Jones Creek Farm in Sedro Woolley. Their Harvest Festival takes place October 18-20. The Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish is where you’ll find a pumpkin patch and “u-pick” apple orchard that’s open until October 31. You can also visit Stutzman Ranch in Wenatchee, where Fuji and Golden Delicious apples are currently ripe for the pickin’.

In Oregon, visit Beilke Family Farm in Brooks, Bell’s Orchard in Beaverton (call ahead to check) or Kiyokawa Family Orchards in Parkdale, where Mount Hood views provide a stunning backdrop. For hardcore apple lovers, check out this pick-your-own website for even more ideas.

Apples Grown in the Northwest

Apple PickingThe nine apple varieties grown in Washington state include the Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Cameo, Cripps Pink, Braeburn, Honeycrisp and, of course, Red Delicious, the state’s claim to fame. Check apple availability by month on the Best Apples website. Calling ahead before hitting the road is always a good idea, too.

Active Adventure Ideas

Apple PickingIndulging in your hand-picked bounty will taste even sweeter after the family has gotten some exercise. Enjoy a fresh-air workout while stretching for high-hanging fruit and skipping the hayride in lieu of exploration on foot. Add even more adventure to the day by losing yourself in corn mazes at sites like The Farm at Swan’s Trail, where a 12-acre labyrinth replicates a giant map of Washington state and features 4.5 miles of path. It also has more than 250 “state roads” and 400 “towns and landmarks.”

Apple PickingOnce home, store the apples you’re not cooking in the fridge. But, wait a second… didn’t someone mention something about a freshly-baked apple pie? Gather the whole family in the kitchen, and have fun following health-conscious, apple-centric recipes found on sites like Cooking Light or Best Apples, as well as ideas provided by Seattle’s own talented Everyday Maven. After all, ’tis the season!