We love apple picking - but the things that often accompany it, not so much. After heading to apple country, we made one stop...but we promptly turned around and got back in the car after seeing the crowds, petting zoo, moon-bounce, cafe and other non-apple entertainment. We moved on up the road to Woodstock County Orchard, which not only was more our speed, and offered U-Pick raspberries as well. Tastings of the apple varieties and orchard maps were offered at the front tent:
Don't be dissuaded by the following sign
It's really a reminder to keep a careful eye on your kids. Everyone was very, very friendly and they have wagons to help you carry whatever burdens you've got.
The orchard was lovely, with Redcorts, Empires, Jonagolds, Jonamacs, Red Delicious, Senchu, and Honeycrisp ready to pick, and Galas at half-price as this was their last weekend. Not only were the apples less expensive than the other farm, there were bushels, pecks and half-pecks available. We bought a peck of Galas for $5, and a peck of mixed for $10 - and picked a pint of raspberries for $4. They also had local honey for sale.
Quote from the back of the farm's map "'Agritainment" is the latest trend at apple orchards. It means combining agriculture with entertainment, like petting zoos, hayrides mazes, etc... This isn't for us. Our priority is the fruit. We like the peaceful Woodstock countryside, and we think picking apples & raspberries is entertaining in itself."
We all had a great time, and arrived at Mitsuwa for dinner tired, sunburnt and full of apples.
If you're interested in the opportunity to visit a farm, and you live near Chicago or Milwaukee, check out my local U-Pick Map.