While everyone else goes crazy over everything ‘pumpkin’ during the fall, I on the other hand can’t help but get excited over apple season. That means apple cider, apple crumble, caramel apples, and my personal favorite, apple pie. It’s been a family tradition for years in my house to pile into the car on a nice fall day and drive down to Red Barn Farm where they have a ‘U-Pick apples’ option so you get to go straight out to the orchard and pull them off the trees yourself. And afterwards we always treat ourselves to a warm cup of freshly made cider, because it’s all homemade right there on the property so it doesn’t get any more fresh than that.
Unfortunately, living right in the heart of Los Angeles, fall doesn’t quite exist in the same way it does in other places where seasons actually change. And even if they did, in this urban environment it would be impossible to allot 10 acres of space for something like an apple orchard, as I’ve grown accustomed to in the Midwest. So if I wanted to continue this tradition I would have to drive at least an hour into the more secluded parts of California in order to do so.
Luckily though, last weekend I got a break from my big city life and had the pleasure of flying back to my hometown, Kansas City, to go apple picking at a new place this year with someone quite special to me (who also kindly took the photos of me from above!). He took me on a date to Cider Hill Farms where we took a tractor ride out into the sweet-smelling apple orchards then filled a whole bag, about ten pounds worth, with all the apples of our choosing. And since we were picking our own, that also meant we got to snack on a few while we worked as well!
Since the weather was a lot hotter than usual for Kansas City during September, that meant I also got to try a new apple creation during our adventure: an apple slushy! It was just as delicious as it sounds and hit the spot on that exceptionally warm afternoon. Sadly, despite it being so warm out, they still ran out of warm cider, so I I unfortunately have to wait until next year to indulge in that again. Or I could cave in and buy some store bought cider…but the homemade kind of course is always better.
Overall, I give the experience 4.5/5 stars (As I’m still sad about the cider). As a creature of habit it was hard to get out of my routine and go somewhere new this year, but I’m definitely glad I did! The family who owned the farm was very friendly and the atmosphere was perfect and relaxing. I recommend everyone take a day this fall to go apple picking with your friends, family, or significant other. It’s easy and cheap (only $8 for all the apples we got to take home with us!) and it’s lots of fun for everyone involved. And afterwards you can take all your pickings home and do one of my other most favorite things, putting the apples to use and baking some tasty treats! Because the sweetest part of the whole experience of course is the gratification you get from eating all your delicious creations.
You can only handpick them once a year, so I encourage everyone to give it a try!