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The days are beginning to grow shorter, and soon, the air will take on a crisp, refreshing chill. As fall approaches, orchards are slowly filling with ripening fruit, the actual signal that summer is over and it’s time to transition to celebrating a new season. There are few more time-honored traditions than apple picking, filling baskets with the season’s vibrant colors and sweet aromas. Friends, families, and neighbors gather to collect the bounty of nearby orchards, reconnecting with the simple pleasures of life. And where better to go apple picking than near Harrisonburg, VA?
Apple picking is an activity with a delicious reward. You’ll get to pack up your car with hand-picked apples that blow any grocery store selections out of the water. Whether you eat them as snacks, bake them into delicious pies and treats, or even use them as seasonal decor, it’s hard to resist the allure of a farm-fresh apple.
These two farms near Harrisonburg, Virginia, spend all year tending to their orchards to offer U-Pick apples to local families in the fall. If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your family’s apple-picking adventure (or maybe even to take some autumnal family photos!), check out Cross Keys Farm and Showalter’s Orchard!
Cross Keys Farm puts all the hard work and effort into growing delicious, high-quality produce so you and your family can reap the reward! They use responsible and sustainable growing practices to provide their customers with healthy, nutritious, and seasonal produce. Unlike some other farm stands in the area, they only sell what they grow (rather than sourcing from other farms), so you’ll know whatever you buy from them is always picked fresh.
Owned by farmers Mary Stickley-Godinez and Raul Godinez, Cross Keys Farm has been a part of Mary’s family history since 1868. They are currently in the process of recognizing Cross Keys Farm as a Century Farm, or a farm that has been continuously owned and farmed by a single family for over 100 years.
Regarding their apples, they grow modern varieties like Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, and Pink Lady. Still, they also farm flavorful heirlooms like Arkansas Black, Albemarle Pippin, and Esopus Spitzenburg. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their U-Pick offerings and hours, as they change frequently. Apple picking at Cross Keys Farm is a taste of farming at its best and apples at their highest quality.
Showalter’s Orchard is a true celebration of everything apples and falls. The Orchard has continuously planted apple trees since 1900, and today, the farm uses its fruit to make sweet apple cider, hard apple cider, and, of course, apple picking. Showalter’s Orchard grows over 30 varieties, so whatever you intend to use your harvest for, they have the perfect apple.
Showalter’s has been a part of Harrisonburg family traditions since the mid-1970s. In 1975, they added a cider press to their property to use “ugly” blemished apples, and they’ve been making sensational apple cider ever since. In 2010, they began making hard ciders for their adult customers, which received high praise. Today, when you visit for apple picking, you’ll definitely want to make sure you enjoy some cider and a warm apple cider donut to accompany your farming adventure.
Make an adventure out of your apples this fall and take your family to apple pick near Harrisonburg, Virginia. These two family-owned farms have a legacy for growing fresh, delicious apples and a passion for sharing them with families like yours.
If you want to take me up on that suggestion for family photos, we can absolutely plan a fall-themed photo shoot that will be perfect for upcoming holiday cards. Let’s chat!
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