By Katie Beecher
Apple slices dipped in honey are probably the most quintessential Rosh Hashanah food-related tradition, which means apple picking is a great activity for the Jewish New Year. Here are farms and orchards in the area you can explore with friends and family.
Baugher’s Orchards & Farm Market
1015 Baugher Road, Westminster
At Baugher’s, apple pickers can hop on a wagon for a scenic ride to the orchard. Families can picnic at one of the many picnic tables at the market and visit the petting zoo to meet lambs, chickens, rabbits and turkeys. Kids will love climbing on the playgrounds and watching the goats clamber along their elevated goat walk.
Pick-your-own containers are available when you purchase them with your tickets. Apple varieties include Empire and Fuji in early fall, midseason Ida Red and Stayman Winesap later in the season.
Wagon rides are $3 per person. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in September and October (weather permitting). Contact the picking hotline before planning your visit. 410-857-0111; baughers.com
2415 Woodbine Road, Woodbine
Established in 1973 by the Moore family, Larriland Farm grows 22 types of mouthwatering apple varieties, from the midseason Ginger Gold to the late-season Goldrush, available from mid-August to early November. Larriland Farm is in western Howard County, about 3 miles south of Interstate 70 (exit 73) on Woodbine Road, Maryland Route 94.
The farm’s website offers recipes for apple-themed treats, including pies and cakes, to help you turn your fresh picks into delicious dishes. Contact the farm’s pick-your-own hotline before you visit for up-to-date picking information. Purchase your containers upon arriving at the farm. Picking hours for August through Oct. 31 are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 410-442-2605; pickyourown.com
3212 Snake Lane, Churchville
A Harford County gathering place since 1928, Lohr’s Orchard offers pick-your-own apples from August through October. After picking, be sure to stop at the farm stand to grab a jug of the farm’s apple cider. The orchard has been hand-pressing its cider for more than 50 years.
Picking hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 410-734-0446; lohrsorchard.com
5594 Norrisville Road, White Hall
Shaw Orchards has specialized in growing apples for more than 100 years, ever since the family planted its first fruit trees in 1909. You’ll find Shaw Orchards on the Mason-Dixon Line between Norrisville, Md., and Stewartstown, Pa.
This year, the orchard has added a new block of apples with new varieties for visitors to enjoy. Sign up for Shaw Orchards’ email list, the “RipeLine” news, for updates on availability and pricing information.
The Shaw Orchards market is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 410-692-2429; shaworchards.com
Weber’s PYO Peachberry Farm
11409 Harford Road, Glen Arm
This farm offers apples from September through early November by online appointment only. Varieties range from Summer Rambo and Gala, which ripen in mid to late August, to late-season varieties such as Evercrisp and Pink Lady. Don’t forget to stop at Weber’s Cider Mill afterward and pick up some of Weber’s famous hot spiced cider and apple cider doughnuts for the drive home.
Weber’s times for pick-your-own apples are by announced schedule only. Visit Weber’s PYO Peachberry Farm website and Facebook page for announcements. Sign up for a time slot and order your pick-your-own fruit on the farm’s website. 410-668-4488; weberscidermillfarm.com
Katie Beecher is a writer for Baltimore’s Child, where this story first appeared.