We never thought it would come to this…being anxious for the summer to come to a close and the cool weather to drift in. This summer was a hot one, a really hot one. And as we make our way through our basket of ripe, sweet Long Island peaches, we’re counting down the days till apple season arrives on Long Island. Actually, we take that back–because apple season is already here. The apples came early this year. And while, autumn brings lots of goodies—fresh apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, nutmeg and cinnamon-laden pastries—nothing beats fresh-picked apples right off the tree. Because you know what they say, an apple a day…
Apple season on Long Island runs from early September to October. Here are some of the best places we know of to pick your apples. Now, mother nature doesn’t exactly operate on our schedule, so call before you make the trip. Many orchards close when there is no ripe fruit for picking.
Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow. 631-929-4327. www.lewinfarm.com, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., daily.
This 1100-acre family owned and operated farm holds the title of first pick-your-own farm on Long Island. Lewin’s has dozens of apple varieties for picking plus a market-sized farm stand. So if picking isn’t your thing, feel free to grab a bushel.
Pulaski Road, Northport. 631-261-1980. Daily, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Open Sundays at 10 a.m. & some holidays.
You could drive past Richter’s every day and not even know it’s there. Follow the sign just off Pulaski road up to paradise. It’s been there for more than a century. You’ll climb a steep hill and end up in the midst of acres of apple orchards. They also carry fresh-brewed cider.
FORT SALONGA FARM
30 Meadow Glen Rd, Northport. 631-269-9666. www.fortsalongafarm.com, Saturdays, Sundays & holidays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Fort Salonga Farm is unique in that its apple trees are miniature. So if you’re looking for a day out with the family that doesn’t involved those long poles and lifting your kids up over your head, this place is perfect. The apples hang only a foot or two off the ground, so it’s accessible for all. An added bonus: Fort Salonga Farm also sells fresh honey.
MILK PAIL FARM & ORCHARD
1346 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill. 631-537-2565. www.milk-pail.com, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
If you’re a connoisseur of apples, the Milk Pail has your name written all over it. And if you think you don’t like apples at all, Milk Pail begs to differ. This orchard carries more than 20 varieties of apples and also has dwarf varieties for the little ones. And those apple cider donuts we were talking about? This is where you get ‘em. They’ve been making fresh donuts for more than 30 years.
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DAVIS PEACH FARM
Hulse Landing Road, Wading River. 631-929-1115. www.davispeachfarm.com, Call for hours.
In business since the turn of the century, Davis Peach Farm isn’t only famous for their peaches. Aside from their 10 varieties of apples, they also carry a one-of-a-kind Sangria mix, fresh pies, have live animals, a haunted hayride come Halloween time and a farm stand.
WICKHAM’S FRUIT FARM
Route 25, Cutchogue. 631-734-6441. www.wickhamsfruitfarm.com, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
U-pick is membership only at Wickham’s which will run you $20 per year, but it’s well worth it. This fruit farm also happens to sit on historic waterfront grounds and was featured in the book Heaven and Earth: The Last Farmers of the North Fork. And if you don’t want to pick, stop by their farm stand for apples, donuts, cheeses, and all sorts of seasonal goodies.
THE APPLE ORCHARD @ HANK’S PUMPKINTOWN
240 Montauk Hwy, Watermill. 631-726-4667. www.hankspumpkintown.com, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., daily & Columbus Day.
Hank’s has a wide variety of apples available for picking, plus hot and cold cider, donuts, pies, candy apples and more. They also have wagon rides, roasted corn, a maze and playground so it’s worth the ride for those who are far away. You may come for the apples but you’ll end up staying for the day.
SEVEN PONDS ORCHARD
Seven Ponds Road, Water Mill. 631-726-8015, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seven-Ponds-Orchard/16031656071409, Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Seven Ponds Orchard is another place you can make a day of. Picnicking, corn maze, hay rides, pies, candy apples and popcorn. This orchard specializes in dwarf apple trees for the kids with more than a dozen varieties.