September after September … We have established to go apple picking once a year. Last Saturday we went to Dr. Davies Farm in Congers, New York, on the left side of the Hudson River. We had found their farm online and had reserved a time slot for apple picking on their website, just in case. When we arrived just before noon, the parking lot was pretty busy. But the farm has stewards showing you a parking spot.
We first walked around Dr. Davies Farm to get an overview. There was a food market next to the entrance to apple picking. They offered hay rides and have a big field with a few picnic tables. Some of those were occupied by groups to celebrate kids’ birthdays. Because it was noon, we got ourselves a package of freshly baked apple cider donuts and a bottle of apple cider. They were both super delicious.
Once we were done with our sweet lunch, we walked over to the apple picking area. It cost $47 to obtain a half bushel bag plus another $3 for an apple picker tool. Half a bushel is 17.62 liters by the way. Just in case you are wondering. Yup, I never encounter this unit of volume except for when we go apple picking.
Armed with the bag and the tool, we walked through the orchard. All the apple trees close to the entrance had already been harvested. Dr. Davies Farm put employers everywhere to show us the right way. They had also enclosed a rather small area of trees that people were allowed to pick from on that day.
We were happy to have rented the picker tool because most apples actually hang high up in the trees. I must admit that it was much harder to use the tool than I had imagined. To me it felt quite heavy plus I had to navigate the little basket at the end to the right spot. Then again I am not the most coordinated person in the world.
What I liked in particular was that there were different kinds of apple trees, e.g. Red and Golden Delicious, Cortland and Macintosh. Each tree was equipped with a little sign noting its variety. We picked apples from all available varieties.
I really enjoy picking apples with Rich, also because he carried the heavy bag around. Moreover, he is much better at handling the picker tool than I will ever be. He even taught and helped a little girl how to use it. That makes me look forward to future years when we will take our little girl apple picking.
The one thing I feel Dr. Davies Farm is missing is shade. Obviously, we visited right around noon, but it was quite hot. Esp. while we picked the apples. We had to stand right in the sun to reach the apples. Also, the trees weren’t so big that they would provide shade. We saw a few people climbing in the trees, which I also wasn’t as fond of. I felt that they knocked down quite a few apples – and nobody really collects apples from the ground, no matter how good they look.
After we had returned to the benches, I needed a nice long break. These days I regularly need quite a few breaks. We ate more donuts and tried our crisp apples. They are really yummy and I am excited that we have enough for several weeks.
Unfortunately, our apple bag was so heavy that I couldn’t convince Rich to also buy a few big pumpkins. But at least I got to admire them. Granted, it is still a little early for a proper Halloween decoration. But there is nothing wrong with eating pumpkin everything already.
Eventually, we walked through Dr. Davies Farm’s nice food market. They offer a great selection of fresh produce as well as cake mixes, cheeses and quite a large amount of decorations, as in flowers, sheet metal signs and decorative vegetables.
We ended up buying a few cake mixes Rich was excited about and decorative pumpkins and Indian corn, which I was thrilled about. Most likely we would have bought more if we had brought more bags. But we weren’t as prepared as we thought. The easiest would have been to bring big backpacks because we left the car in its garage in White Plains and took the Metro-North train back into the City. Alas, next time …
Overall we enjoyed our apple picking trip to Dr. Davies Farm very much. The farm is not too far from the City and it is located beautifully next to a canyon. We watched several big birds of prey there. Just around the corner there are a lake on one side and the Hudson River on the other. There is a state park right at the river and, if you want to spend more time, you can park there and take a walk.
Last year we visited Apple Dave’s Orchards further upstate to go apple picking. When I compare the two farms, I find Apple Dave’s slightly more exciting. They offer a little more to their visitors like warm food other than donuts and also alcoholic apple cider. Besides, their farm is just bigger and allows you to explore more. On the other hand, Dr. Davies Farm is much closer to the City, which reduced our travel time enormously. If your trip’s main focus is on apple picking, this is a fine farm offering exactly this activity. We at least loved our visit.
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