By Michelle Reese

It’s apple season, and picking them yourself can be a fun way to spend an afternoon with your friends or family. Apples are one of the easiest fruits to pick, and there are so many ways you can use them in your home. Eat them fresh, cooked or canned. Use them in your baked goods, or even use them to add a natural touch to your fall decorations. Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free and will last quite a while if stored in proper conditions.

(Photo by Michelle Reese at Styer Orchard)

Where to Go in Bucks

Styer Orchard

97 Styers Lane, Langhorne
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (open Monday for Rosh Hashana)

Styer Orchard offers pick-your-own apples throughout the season. Walk or take a wagon out to orchards. Picking and wagon rides are free. Purchase what you pick. On your way out, visit the Market (a separate entity from the Orchard) for fresh apple cider, apple cider donuts and more fall treats.

Tabora Farm & Orchard

1104 Upper Stump Road, Chalfont
Hours: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily

Tabora offers pick-your-own apples. Plus, visit Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for Tabora's Great Apple Festival! There will be a huge variety of apples, music and games.

Solebury Orchards

3325 Creamery Road, New Hope
Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Closed Monday – Wednesday)

Tractors and wagons take visitors out to the trees for picking on Saturdays and Sundays. Picking continues through the first weekend in November. Visit the orchard store for fresh apple cider, cider slushies and heavenly cider donuts.

Shady Brook Farm 

931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (pick your own apples is Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and through FallFest on the weekends)

Shady Brook Farm offers a few options for apple picking. You can visit during the week from Wednesday through Friday and take a wagon ride from the Farm Market out to the orchard. The wagon ride is $3 per person. Apples are 99 cents per pound (as of 9/9/19). On Saturday and Sunday, apple picking is part of FallFest, Shady Brook Farm's famous celebration featuring a corn maze, barnyard animals, straw bale maze, pig races, live music, games and more.

Snipes Farm & Education Center

390 W. Bridge Street, Morrisville

Snipes Farm & Education Center presents its fifth annual Fall Family Fun Day on the Farm on Saturday, September 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Enjoy hayrides around the farm, pick your own apples and pumpkins, giant corn maze, moonbounces, a DJ, face painting, playground fun, balloon art, character visits, farm animals, inflatable games, vendors, food trucks and more! Admission is $6 per person (children 2 and under are free).   Pick your own pumpkins and apples can be purchased by the lb.

Apple Picking Tips

If you decide to pick apples yourself, be sure to call the local farm you’re visiting to ensure their apples are ready for picking. Good farmers will also be able to give you tips on what to look for to guarantee a high quality apple, like the particular color you should look for when picking a specific type. Picking apples is easy, and their large size makes it so even young children can join in without the fear of crushing that you might have with a more delicate fruit. To pick an apple from the tree, roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist. Don’t pull straight away from the tree or try to get apples to fall by shaking. Always select firm, bruise-free apples and try to leave the stem on the fruit as it will help them store longer. Place apples in bags or baskets gently as bruises will cause them to go bad sooner.

Apple Storage Tips

Once you bring your apples home, keep them in a cool dry place where they won’t freeze. Pick out all apples that have any soft or bruised spots. These are fine to eat but should be eaten first instead of storing. Apples that will be eaten within a week or two should be stored in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator. Other apples can last several months when stored properly. Wrap apples separately in individual sheets of newspaper, being careful not to use paper with colored ink. Wrapping in paper prevents contact between the apples, so one rotten apple won’t spoil them all. Don’t wash apples until just before using to prevent spoilage.

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