One of my favorite annual traditions growing up was our family trek out to an orchard to pick apples and drink cider. I remember running through the orchards, filling up baskets of apples and sipping on warm cider to stay warm. I couldn’t wait to start this tradition with Jackson. So this past weekend Jackson and I drove up to North Georgia with a few friends for our first apple picking experience.
There are a number of orchards to choose from in Georgia, and after going through the extensive list we decided on B.J. Reece Orchards, and we were not disappointed. The only thing I wish is that we had more time to spend there. It’s worth noting that all of the orchards are a bit of a drive from Atlanta, most being in North Georgia, it took us almost two hours to get there and an hour and a half to get home. The orchards are open throughout the fall, and always have plenty of apples on hand to purchase, but if you want to get out there and pick your own there’s a short window of availability at the end of September and early October.
We choose B.J. Reece because they offer so much more than just apple picking – from a petting zoo and hayrides to zip-lining and a cow train. It took us a little longer than planned to get up there, so by they time we arrived we only had two hours to explore and experience the orchards before having to head back to the city. Next time we’ll make sure we have the whole day/evening free when we head up, or we’ll coordinate our annual long weekend in N. GA with apple picking season.
Jackson had so much fun running through the trees, picking the perfect apples and petting the goats. The cows and turkeys scared him, so we stuck close to the goats and didn’t want to leave them.
I highly recommend B.J. Reece if you’re looking for a kid and adult friendly orchard, we’ll definitely be back next year. And I’m also looking forward to checking out Hillside Orchard next time, it’s just down the street from Reece and they have dwarf apple trees for the kids to pick directly off the branches!
We brought home a good haul of apples and a homemade pie. Now I just need to start washing them all…some of the things I plan to make with them over the next week are:
- Porkchops with applesauce – I’ll use applesauce instead of diced apples and may use mashed cauliflower instead of grits
- My own homemade apple pie – I have an old recipe I’ve made a few times, I’ll post that soon!
- Cinnamon Apple Muffins – I’ll tweak and make GF
If you have any apple recipe recommendations please share!