Apple picking with my boys

Ever since we moved to New England this past April, I have been looking forward to doing all the fall things. It’s been so long since I’ve experienced a New England fall and have been so excited to introduce my boys to new traditions, ones that we didn’t have in Florida. In the entire 17 years of living in Florida, I think fall was what I missed most. And one of the traditions I’ve been most looking forward to establishing with my boys is apple picking! So, after a long week of being sick and quarantining, despite the iffy weather, my mom and I loaded them up and spent a lovely wet Sunday afternoon apple picking at Carlson Orchards.

carlson orchards

Oh, so many apples

The last time we visited Carlson Orchards was to go berry and peach picking and I quickly learned how huge this place was. So, this time, I was smart and remembered to bring the stroller as I anticipated doing a lot of walking to pick the various amounts of apples they had. Some of the apples were well known names I had heard of like the famous Honey Crisp along with well-known apple’s Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Empire and Gala. But there were also a couple I had never heard of like Ida, and Northern Spy apples, wasn’t a huge fan of those. My boys had a great time tasting all the different varieties. My almost 2-year-old kept picking the fallen apples off the ground and putting them in our bag, lol. I did my best to keep an open mind about the different kinds of apples available, but I have to say, in my opinion none compare quite as much to the honey crisp. There’s a reason why they are so much more per pound in the store and the reason why they have the word “crisp” in its name. They were so good. They were the very last rows in the orchard, and they actually had a wagon being pulled by a tractor out to the sections that were a longer walk. We had to walk all the way to the end as they were pretty picked over, but if you’re patient and willing to walk a bit and look hard there are still plenty of honey crisp apples out there. They also had a ton of rows roped off that weren’t for picking yet, so I’m sure they’ll have plenty of apples for weeks to come.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away and brings the tooth fairy to visit!

We love apples in our house! My little guy goes around all day saying, “apple, apple”. He sounds so much like a broken record these days…toddler life. It’s the cutest little “apple” though and there could be worse foods that he could be asking for. I love that my boys love fruit. We had an unexpected tooth falling out while apple picking! My son lost his first front tooth a few weeks ago, and the second one has been loose since. It had been hanging on by a thread and he has been super picky about what he’s been eating for fear of it falling out. Don’t get me wrong, he has been excited about another visit from the tooth fairy (really amazes me how much she’s giving these days ;-), but he is not a fan of any blood, and he gets super anxious about it falling out. I was actually surprised he was eating so many apples while picking for that reason, as he hadn’t wanted to touch an apple in weeks. I think the excitement of apple picking made him forget all about his tooth hanging by a thread until…I heard a shriek in the orchard followed by, “Mom!!” I turned around and there he was freaking out because his tooth was literally dangling, not sure how the apple didn’t pull it all the way out. I gave it the smallest little tug and we went home with not only a big bag of apples, but also a tooth for the fairy.

We have a huge bag of apples that I’m looking forward to making an apple crisp with. My oldest has been taking an apple with him daily for his school snack, so at $30 a bag (yikes…) we are getting our money’s worth. I will say that with the number of apples we ate while picking we definitely got our $30 worth. I’m hoping to try one more orchard out for comparison before the season is over! Next time we’ll try to go on a beautiful fall day instead of a rainy one.

Berry picking, peach picking and more at Carlson Orchards

One of the things I’ve been most excited about since moving back to New England is being able have my boys experience all the exciting things each season has to offer. You can pick berries in Florida, but not without a drive, and the experience just doesn’t compare. A dear friend of mine who has been a huge support during this transitional time sent me a gift card last week and told me to use it to do something fun with the boys. So, when a mom friend I grew up with here recommended Carlson’s Orchards I immediately knew where to put the gift card to use.

Carlson Orchards, peach and berry picking

We had the best experience. Not only did they have blueberry, raspberry, peach and apple picking but they also have an amazing tap room with a huge variety of hard ciders, apple cider slushes for the kids, and delicious pizza. It is very kid friendly with an open-air barn style tap room, and an outdoor playing area where the little ones can run wild and play cornhole.

When we first arrived, we saw that we had a choice of picking blueberries, raspberries and peaches. If you plan to go, be sure to check their growing schedule on their website as it tells you what fruits they have available and when. This place is HUGE. The only thing I wish I had done differently was bring a wagon or another adult. With my 21-month-old, and the heat, it was a bit of walk in between the blueberry and the peach farm. Luckily my 7-year-old stepped up and carried the large carton of peaches that we harvested. My youngest ate more berries than we collected, and I don’t think he put a single one in the carton…He was in heaven.

After a good hour of picking and walking around I was looking forward to an adult beverage and the boys were excited to have some pizza. The service was excellent, the kids LOVED the apple cider slushies, and I decided to sample the Pioneers flight which was a lot of fun to drink.

We were told that they often have live music on the weekends as well as different food trucks on the farm too. We left with enough peaches to feed an army, a quart full of berries, happy bellies and full of smiles, minus me wrangling my toddler at the end! When it’s time to go, it’s time to go with an almost 2-year-old. All you mommas out there know what I mean.

We can’t wait to go back and pick apples in a month, and I’m hoping to find another mom friend to come with us!