Bite Into Fall with Connecticut Grown Apples(HARTFORD, CT) – You might not be able to bob for apples this fall, but you can visit an orchard to pick your own apples. Connecticut is home to more than 65 orchards with more than 60 apple varieties suitable for snacking, salads, sauces, desserts, and more.
Like many businesses, orchards are adjusting operations to keep guests and employees safe while meeting COVID-19 requirements. From wearing masks and increasing the number of handwashing stations to extending hours and advising guests of protocols through websites and social media channels, producers are committed to providing consumers with an opportunity to enjoy a favorite fall tradition. Most importantly, visitors should take the time to inquire about requirements and changes before heading to the orchard to be properly prepared.
Becky Clark at Clark Farms at Bushy Hill in Granby says, “People are responsive and dealing with the changes made. We’ve worked with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and local health department to ensure the safety of visitors. While some activities may not be available, we are doing the best we can.”
In addition to pick your own, the farm offers an onsite café for breakfast and lunch. Their apple cider donuts are a customer favorite and new this year will be the addition of hard cider. They are starting to press apple cider this week and will start the first batch of hard cider thereafter.
The spectacular weather over Labor Day weekend drew strong numbers of visitors to Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry as families sought out safe, socially distanced, outdoor activities.
In addition to apple picking, the farm offers a farm store, sweet and hard cider, fruit wines, baked goods and more. “There’s a lot of interest in picking and as a retail farm that’s a good thing for us,” says Russell Holmberg. “Our apple crop is on the average side this year, it’s never a perfect year, but we have ended up with high quality fruit that sized up well. There are plenty of really nice apples to pick.”
Clark encourages apple picking as an opportunity for guests to enjoy a break from how fast life moves. “This is a family experience - take pictures, soak in the fresh air, and enjoy your time together.”
To learn more about Connecticut’s orchards, apple varieties, and recipes, visit www.ctapples.org.