Fall Apple Crawl
By: Carolyn S. Kuczynski
Growing up in Upstate New York, the distinctive tartness from that first bite of a Macintosh apple meant Fall had officially arrived. Mrs. McCubbin was the matriarch of a small family orchard in New Hartford, New York. She handed every kid their first apple of the season with a smile. The place wasn’t fancy, but the sight and smell of that immaculate, 1950’s “elf green” painted two-car garage filled with bushels of Macintosh, Cortland, and Northern Spy apples, plus freshly pressed cider, pumpkins, and cabbages is something I’ll never forget.
With having a kid of my own and moving closer to Cooperstown, my Fall orchard experience morphed into something new at the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard. This became our Sunday afternoon go-to. My son fed the ducks, we hit the snack bar for an apple-inspired treat and enjoyed perusing kitchen gadgets and sampling specialty foods at the Mill Store Marketplace.
Moving South, I traded my beloved Macintosh apples for Honey Crisp and the more laid-back vibe of the Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill in York, South Carolina. Their cider slushies rock! Not something you’d normally see in New York where the weather cools quickly.
We also make an annual pilgrimage to the Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Visiting family in Pigeon Forge gives us an excuse to have breakfast at the Apple Barn (their apple fritters and apple butter are to die for) then we check out everything “apple” in their General Store.
Regardless of where you are, when it comes to hitting the orchard – keep an open mind and try something new!
If you’re looking for a great apple destination near you? Visit the following page, select your state, and type in your zip code.