How ‘Bout Them Organic Farm Apples? ‘Tis the Season for U-Pick

Looking for something to do this weekend? Take in the best of fall by traipsing through rows of ripening apple trees along a backdrop of cascading auburn foliage at Fishkill Farms (9 Fishkill Farm Road, 845-897-4377). Just off of I-84 in the upstate town of East Fishkill, the family-owned farm is an hour and a half north of New York City by car and hosts weekend apple picking through October 19.

The historic apple orchard has been in the Morgenthau family for nearly 100 years, and in 2007, the third generation, Robert and Josh Morgenthau, took over operations. With over 40 acres of apples, the farm once produced tens of thousands of bushels for local markets. Today, the farm has expanded to include peaches, nectarines, black currants, cherries, and pumpkins, all of which you can pick yourself when the season is right. All vegetables are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and the farm remains one of the only orchards in the region to offer pick-your-own apples grown according to organic standards.

Through mid-October, the farm hosts Harvest Festival Weekends, where visitors can pick apples and pumpkins, and, after collecting their haul, listen to a live band play as they line up for apple-wood grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and farm vegetables. To finish the meal, you can scoop up some fresh-pressed cider and homemade donuts, or devour some Hudson Valley hand-made ice cream.

Admission is $5 per car for picking during peak season. Stop by soon for ecologically grown Macoun, Jonamac, McIntosh, Spartan, and Cortland apples.




A Guide to Last Minute Apple Picking in Upstate New York

Apple season is just about ending and now is the time to squeeze in a last minute orchard trip before the weather gets too cold and the apples are gone for the year. And if you’re not too fond of apples, there are plenty of pumpkins as well. Over the weekend, I rented a Zipcar with a couple of friends and made a day trip out of it. It’s about a two hour drive up. An itinerary to follow after the jump.

1) Picnic at Saugerties Lighthouse: Stop by a nearby grocery stop to pick up a some picnic supplies (suggestions: a long baguette with hummus, turkey, cheese, and cucumbers). There’s a small trail to the lighthouse, but most of it is paved so don’t worry too much about getting your shoes dirty. There are picnic tables around the lighthouse and you’re surrounded by a beautiful view of the Hudson on all sides.

2) Jenkins-Lueken Orchards: Drive down roughly 45 minutes to the orchards. At this time of the year, though the fruit is getting a bit sparse, Jenkins-Lueken has one of the biggest selections available. We managed to snag some Mcintosh, Pink Lady, Gold and Delicious, and Red Delicious. It costs $10 for a bag, which can comfortably fit a little bit more than a dozen large apples. The orchards also have pumpkins and hay rides ($2 per person for every half hour). For those who just want to get straight to the eating, the store at the orchard sells warm apple cider doughnuts straight out of the oven.

3) Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion: And lastly, in the spirit of October, you can stop by a haunted mansion on the way back to the city. Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion costs $25 per person and it’s been lauded as one of the top haunted mansions in the Hudson Valley. They’ve been around for 35 years and started up when a camp counselor hung himself on a nearby tree.