They’re here – Vermont Apples!
Vermont has wrapped her trees in a million hues of red, yellow, and orange. She has graced us with crisp autumn air, beautiful blue skies and, yes, round, red, juicy apples! Of course you can visit your local market for convenience, but where is the fun in that? Instead, take this seasonal opportunity and head to a Vermont orchard for apple picking. This true New England experience will make for some great family memories, and good eats!
But which one to go to?
With more than 30 apple orchards in Vermont many of them offering not just apple picking, but hayrides, pumpkin picking, apple cider, cider doughnuts, and a bevy of other fresh foods and fun things to do, the toughest decision might be which one to choose! For help in making a selection, you can visit this site which lists Vermont apple orchards.
Still not sure which one to go to? Then don’t! Instead, participate in the great “Wooden Apple” competition and go to all of the participating orchards.
Yes, you read correctly…go to all of them to find a wooden apple. It’s not Geppetto hard at work but the Vermont Board of Tourism and other sponsors who put together this fun program. There are 20 wooden apples hidden throughout participating orchards in Vermont. If you find one of these wooden apples, you win an iPad or iTouch-your choice.
Well played Vermont Board of Tourism – my digitally motivated husband, son, and daughter are keen on the hunt now!
Last weekend we went to a local orchard for our first apple picking of the season. As if the promise of delicious red orbs were not enough to get us out into the orchard, my 12 year old son literally scoured the trees for a wooden apple. He didn’t find one, but we did come home with Apple Cider Donuts and Fresh Cold Apple Cider (neither of which survived the rest of the day because we consumed them so quickly – I didn’t even get the chance to take pictures for this blog!). There are other pots of gold you can search for (well, not literally) if the wooden apple remains elusive on your expedition. A picture and essay contest is available for your K-5th grader. Gift certificates of $100, $50, and $25 are awarded at each grade level for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively. Additionally, 20 bushels of apples will be given to 20 randomly drawn entries. Imagine the sweet applesauce you can make with a bushel of McIntosh or Cortlands! Click here for all the details on these other contests. Or, if you are more philanthropically-minded and are looking to give back to others less fortunate, then you can pick extra apples and donate them to the Vermont Foodbank. This site lists the orchards who support this organization. In 2013, the Foodbank received 18,751 pounds of apples from its 23 contributing orchards. These apples were distributed to meal sites across Vermont. You and your family can contribute this year by adding a few extra apples to your pick for those less fortunate. It doesn’t take a lot for a little to go a long way. 😉 Leave it to Vermont to make apple picking a unique adventure for your entire family. Even at its most simple, this is your chance to pick great tasting apples and eat them right off the tree (after paying for them, of course) or to use in your favorite recipes. Homemade apple crisp and applesauce are among my family’s favorites.