It’s fall, a time for cooler weather, beautiful foliage, and of course pumpkin spice everything. Letting go of summer can be a little difficult for some of us, but I try to move into fall with excitement of all the autumn activities such as festivals, football games, and Halloween. Harvesting the fruit of our summer labor is also a past time that thousands of people enjoy. One of the best activities for families of all kinds is apple picking. Whether young or old apple picking is a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and experience nature at its best.
Battleview Orchards sits next to Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Freehold, NJ and boosts a rich history dating back to 1908. The orchard which is a full working farm that grows apples,
strawberries, sour cherries, peaches, nectarines, and pumpkins can be visited by the public from summer to fall. Their country store is open year round and offers the most delicious fresh baked goods as well as Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables.
It has become a tradition for our family to visit the farm in the early fall to get our apples for the season. You can pick a very wide selection of apples including Gala, Macintosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Braeburn and Fuji. The apples can last in the refrigerator for up to six months – if they won’t get eaten before then. This year we picked Jonathon and Jonagold, which I heard are great for baking. We also picked Fuji, which are a great mix of sweet and tart perfect for snacking. Finally we picked the Empire varietal which is another one of our favorites, its red skin and sweet candy like flavor makes it very hard to resist.
Picking the apples is an experience like no other. Walking through the rows of trees can make you feel like you are walking aside Dorothory and the gang on their way to Oz, waiting for a tree to misbehave and throw an apple at you.
The orchard provides harvesting poles for a refundable deposit of $20 so you can access the top of the crop. They give you a bucket and paper bag to collect the apples. I bring a pen so I can mark on the bag what we pick. Just remember you have to pay for all that you pick and they only accept cash.
After the apple picking you can take a tour of the farm on a festive hayride for $3 a person. Enjoy being pulled by a tractor while viewing the picturesque scenery.
Also be sure to visit their pumpkin patch, which boasts the most beautiful gourds.
If you are looking for somewhere to go on a crisp fall day, take a visit to Battleview Orchard it surely won’t disappoint.