Nothing signals autumn quite like an apple pie. And while there’s plenty of Honey Crisps and Pink Ladies available at local grocery stores, I always prefer to pick my own fruit. And we did just that last weekend at A&M Orchard, about an hour east of the city. In years past, I’ve timed our visits so that we can also pick pears, but this year the time just got away from me. But they also have pumpkins. And hayrides. And resident kitties. And they press their own cider on the premises. Honestly, it really doesn’t get much better.
Here’s what you need to know: The season is limited, so check their Facebook page before setting out. It’s also cash only, with prices still below $1 per pound. Dress yourselves and your little ones in comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting a little muddy. It is, after all, the country. Orchard workers will provide buckets and long-handled baskets that allow you to reach up into the trees. Those should be carried by an adult. (Trust me on that one.) You and your crew will make a short, but scenic, walk back to the trees. It’s later in the season so don’t expect to find lots of fruit on the first tree that you see. A&M grows a multitude of varieties. Sometimes the rows are labeled by variety, but sometimes they are not. Golden Delicious apples make the best pies (and cakes), so we went after those first. And finally, don’t get greedy. Remember, somebody has to haul that heavy bucket back to the apple house, and it’s not going to be your five year-old.
A & M Farm Orchard, 22141 State Road 251, Midland, (513) 875-2500, aandmfarm.blogspot.com