Apple picking season is upon us and we’ve put together an ultimate guide to help you pick-your-own across the Windsor-Essex region.
From the best spots to head out to on your apple picking adventure to some helpful tips to know before you head out and for when you’re on the farm, we’ve got you covered.
WHERE TO GO
MELEG’S LAKEVIEW ORCHARD & CIDER MILL
This 65 acre farm is about more than just pick-your-own. Meleg’s Lakeview Orchard offers up freshly pressed apple cider and fry up some warm cinnamon donuts on site, too! While you’re picking your own apples, you might as well take advantage of the tail end of raspberry season, for the win!
Around for almost 90 years now, Thiessen Orchards is offering up 8 different varieties of apple to choose from. The farm is also filled with a whole slew of family activities. General Admission is good for weekends and Thanksgiving Monday with kids 2 and under free.
General Admission includes tractor rides to the orchard, a fun acre with barrel train running, putt putt golf, a corn maze, a jump pad, hanging with farm friends, and a haunted barn (extra charge).
If you’re an adult, when you finish picking your apples at Wagner Orchards be sure to stop by their shop to pick some of their hard cider and wines. Absolutely delicious!
They also have their own bake shop pumping out tasty treats like strudels and pies and offer up their own fresh Berkshire pork and beef.
Open since 1969, Abbruzzese Apples is located at the intersection of Upcott Rd. and Highway 3 between Kingsville and Essex.
This little known orchard is located in Essex, between Belle River and Lakeshore. If you’re considering a visit to Kennette Orchard, just a heads up to keep your pets at home.
PATILLO APPLE ORCHARD
The Patillo Apple Orchard is such a beautiful property just a few minutes from Tecumseh, and well worth the visit for some tasty, crispy apples.
OUR TIPS FOR APPLE PICKING
BRING THE KIDS
Hauling the kids to the farm is a great family activity and can provide a great teachable lesson as to where food actually comes from.
EARLIER IS BETTER
We mean this for both the time of day and time of season.
Arriving to the farm earlier in the day will help you avoid most of the larger crowds. Also, if you go to pick in September rather than October, you’ll also have better shot of getting the most perfectly ripened apples that you thought were only in fairytales.
BE PREPARED FOR THE WEATHER
Whether or not it’s sunny or rainy (picking apples on a rainy day can be fun, gorgeous, and make for great pictures), be sure to look at the forecast and properly prepare for what it’ll be.
September weather can be unpredictable at times, so we recommend dressing in layers.
NOT ALL FARMS HAVE FOOD
Do your research before heading out with the kids. Just because it’s a farm, doesn’t mean they’ll have food available for purchase. Save yourself from getting hangry by knowing in advance.
IF POSSIBLE, BRING YOUR OWN BAGS
Not all farms will allow this, but, if possible it’s best to bring along a reusable bags. It helps reduce waste and even helps the farms out by saving some dollar dollar bills from handing out and using less bags of their own. Plus, why wouldn’t you help out the environment with such a small gesture?!
BE A RESPECTFUL APPLE PICKER
Odds are some of the best apples will be just out of reach. Use an apple picker, please! Don’t tug on the apples or branches. Don’t jump on the tree. Don’t shake the tree or branches.
When you tug or shake the tree, it’ll cause many other apples to call to the ground, making a lot of waste. When possible, if picking your apple causes a few to fall off, pick them up, wipe them off, and take them home to enjoy. ”
The main thing is just to keep in mind to respect the trees and the farm.