Bushels of Fun
November 3, 2015 Dave Z
With fall comes not only the changing of leaves but the bearing of fruit. Crisp and fresh, apples form the cornerstone of any afternoon fruit picking adventure. It’s an activity suitable for the entire family, with a whole slew of fall dinners, desserts and beverages that can be crafted from the All-American fruit. Fresh pressed apple cider is perhaps the most staple fall drink—just pair it with some donuts and you’re good to go.
But, you didn’t come here for food recipes. You probably want to know where you can get your hands on some of these delicious fall treats before they fall to the ground and the deer gobble them all up. That’s what we here at Mr. Meaner specialize in: education and gobbling. We’ll let you decide which is more important.
If you want to pick your own apples, you’ve got quite a few options, though the most well known are in the Eastern United states. Except for Washington State—there are a few orchards hidden up there in the Pacific Northwest. Hope you don’t mind the rain. Further east into the Midwest and New England, your options pick up considerably. Minnesota’s Honeycrisp apple in particular is a relative newcomer (released in 1991) to the apple scene, but quickly became a favorite. Picking seasons usually range from late August to Thanksgiving Weekend. That’s the end of November for our Canadian audience.
If you’ve got apple trees abound near public areas where you live, its important to check into local regulations to see if you are permitted to pick them. These regulations very wildly, so just make a call down to your city or township hall and they can point you in correct direction. It goes without saying that you can’t go traipsing on your neighbor’s property to collect their fallen apples. Unless of course you fancy a trespassing charge or work out an agreement with the neighbor first.
If you’re going to use the apples to make hard cider, feel free. Up to 200 gallons worth each year anyway, as long as you don’t try to sell it. If you do decide to sell, there’s a whole host of licensing and regulation that you have to go through, so it’s probably not worth the hassle unless you’re going to craft a dedicated business out of it. If do decide to go that route, keep an eye on the alcohol by volume (ABV). Anything that gets above the 7% ABV mark is going to get taxed at the more expensive wine-tax rate. Make as much non-alcoholic cider as you’d like. And share with us, please.
Enjoy your picking and treat yourself to a pie, drink, or just a delicious apple when you get home after all that walking. If you’ve got any favorite varieties or places to pick let us know down in the comments. Or just some good cider. Seriously.
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