Tuesday's Top 10: Apple Picking Season Has Arrived


Believe it or not, it's apple-picking time already! Apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use.

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Apple picking season typically lasts from early September to late October. Apple picking is a great all-around family outing. Fresh air, a little exercise, a bit of a treasure hunt, and bounty at the end. Whether you're looking for an orchard with all the bells and whistles or one with trees perfectly sized for the little ones, you can find it at one of Long Island's pick-your-own-apple farms. Be sure to call before going to ensure they're open (despite the days and hours listed below and on their web site) and that they've got enough fruit for picking that day.
Here are some tips to picking great apples.  Select firm, bruise-free apples. The color can be anything from dark green, to yellow, pink, orange, bright red, dark red or even a combination. It all depends on the variety. Apples should be crisp and firm.  Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out the outside of the tree will ripen first. Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don't pull straight away from the tree. If two apples are joined together at the top, both will come away at the same time. Don't shake the trees or branches. Try to leave the stem on the apples. That helps them store longer!
  • Lewin Farms  
    812 Sound Avenue, Wading River (631) 929-4327
    This is the first pick your own orchard on Long Island.
  • The Milk Pail Farmstand  
    50 Horsemill Lane, Water Mill (631) 537-2565
    This family owned farm has been farming for 12 generations.
  • Wickham's Fruit Farm 
    28700 Route 25, Cutchogue (631) 734-6441 
    This is an historic, bicentennial farm, beautiful to behold against the sparkling waters of Peconic Bay. 
  • Seven Ponds Orchard
    65 Seven Ponds Road, Water Mill (631) 726-8015 
    With more than 14 varieties of dwarf trees. It also offers red Radio Flyer wagons for you to carry your apples around in.
  • Woodside Orchards 
    729 Main Road, Aquebogue (631) 722-5770 
    They grow 20 different varieties of apples on semi-dwarf trees.
  •  Fort Salonga Farm 
    30 Meadow Glen Road, Northport (631) 269-9666
    This is the western most orchard on the Island.  Great trees and less traffic.
  • Davis Peach Farm
    561 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River (631) 929-1115  
    Offering Long Islanders the freshest fruit for over 100 years.
  • Hank's Pumpkintown
    240 Montauk Highway, Water Mill (631) 726-4667
    "The Apple Orchard" is a special place for families.
  • Harbes Family Farm 
    715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck (631) 298-0800
    This family friendly farm has u-pick apple orchards.
  • Windy Acres 
    3810 Middle Country Road, Calverton (631) 727-4554
    Pick apples on the farm with the windmill.


Let us know about your favorite u-pick apple orchard on Long Island.com Forum  Please share your favorite apple recipes.