In years past, we have gone apple and pumpkin picking a little too late in the season and the farms we’ve visited have looked a bit sad and picked over. The worst was when we tried to go pumpkin picking on a weekday 2 years ago right before Claudine was born. We drove up to the Hudson Valley on a blustery cold day and to our surprise and disappointment, the farm that we had in mind was closed during the week. Determined to get pumpkins, we headed down to another farm we spied down the road, but we didn’t see a soul around, nor any pumpkin patches, and only a lone goat and horse stood in a gated pen near the side of the farm stand. The only pumpkins we could find were from 2 display bunches near the farm entrance, so we grabbed a couple of rather sad pumpkins, dropped money into the bucket (yes, this farm operated on an honor system, at least during the week on a cold day) and headed back to Brooklyn feeling totally lame that we failed to give Mia, who was then 2, a memorable pumpkin picking experience.
We’ve marked our fruit-picking days on the calendar this year and made a visit to one of our favorite farms, Seven Pond Orchards, out near Southampton. They have a dozen or so varieties of apples, but what makes it fun for kids is that these are all dwarf trees. None are taller than 7-8 feet and each compact tree is densely clustered with apples. The farm isn’t sprawling so it is quite manageable with small kids, plus there are also raspberry and blackberry bushes to pick from, (and remember how much the girls love berry picking?). The weather has been truly glorious – perfect for spending the day outdoors, in fields surrounded by fruit and flowers.