Fall is a great time to get off the beaten path and head to your local orchard in Southeast Wisconsin for some apple picking memories.
Generally speaking, apple season runs approximately from August to the end of October here in southeast Wisconsin. So you’ll find quite a number of your favorite apples available at different times throughout this time.
But what you might not know is that each apple variety ripens at a different time.
Some varieties overlap which is great if you are visiting a site and want to pick a more than one type of apple. But if you really want a certain variety of apple, check with the orchard that you plan on visiting for more details on the time for best picking.
TIPS ABOUT FALL APPLES – Want to learn more about the best apples to pick? Be sure to listen to my podcast from Wisconsin Public Radio, where I, as a guest speaker, discuss more tips and favorite picks about Eating, Cooking and Storing Apples. I even share three of my favorite apple recipes that can be found right here on Wisconsin Homemaker. The LINK to the Podcast can be found HERE.
Make Some Apple Picking Memories in Southeast Wisconsin
And, speaking of orchards…heading to one’s local orchard is the quintessential activity for fall and for making some apple picking memories. Besides, nothing compares to a fresh picked apple.
That’s why apple picking is such a great activity for families of all ages, especially here in southeastern Wisconsin.
For me, I’ve tried to make it my go-to event each fall, even though my kids have become young adults. There’s something about the lure of picking apples right off the tree.
It’s also a great excuse to indulge in gathering a bushel (or two) of apples for a variety of recipes. You’ll find the taste of fresh picked apples when made into a homemade apple pie or tart can’t be beat.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Easy Fried Apples
- Classic French Apple Tart Tatin
- Apple Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Annabel Langbein One Pot Spiced Apple Cake
- Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin
- Old Fashioned Apple Tart with Apricot Glaze
- Caramel Apple Cheese Ball
- Easy Apple Stuffing
Plenty of Picking Options in SE Wisconsin
Here in Southeast Wisconsin, we have a lot of orchards that grow apples, pears and cherries locally. That is because the weather and soil offers the best of all worlds for growing these fruit.
So if you like the idea of getting fresh from the tree apples, you don’t have to look too far. Many orchards let folks to pick-your-own (PYO) while others offer pre-picked apples from their site.
My best advice is to check out each orchard’s website or contact them directly to find out what is available to do onsite.
From a family point of view, some places provide a variety of activities for youngsters, like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, and apple cider making, while others offer a limited experience with few activities outside picking apples or being able to walk the grounds.
One orchard that is worth noting, however, is Peck and Bushel Fruit Company, located in Colgate. This orchard is unique in that it is one of the only Certified Organic Apple Orchards in Southeast Wisconsin that offers organic fruit for picking and purchase.
AppelTreow Winery & Distillery – If you are a wine or spirit conneseuior , you might want to visit this local establishment at Brightonwoods Orchards in Burlington, Wisconsin. This winery and distillery specializes in apple and pear fruit wines, dessert wines and hard ciders, as well as, apple cider, perry and spirits (special brandies and sorghum whisky)–all made on-site. They also offer tastings and group tours.
List of Southeast Wisconsin Apple Orchards
Make some apple picking memories this year by visiting of of these apple orchards here in Southeast Wisconsin.
(Note: This is a non-exhaustive list. To see if there’s an apple orchard near you, check out the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association Listing.)
- Barthel Fruit Farm – Mequon
- Apple Barn Orchard and Winery – Elkhorn
- Nieman Orchards – Cedarburg
- Peck and Bushel Fruit Company – Colgate
- Apple Holler – Sturevant
- Door Creek Orchard – Cottage Grove
- Jelli’s Farm – Helenville
- The Appleberry Farm – Cross Plains
- The Orchard Store – Franksville
- Elegant Farmer – Mukwonago
- Brightonwoods Orchard – Burlington
- Harvest Time Orchards – Twin Lakes
- Apple Barn Orchard and Winery – Elkhorn
For more great travel and family-friendly activities, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Travel Section.