Sweet or tart, crisp or juicy, deep red or vibrant yellow – no matter how you slice them, apples are a welcome fall favorite.
And what better way to spend a sunny fall day than a leisurely stroll through an orchard, picking some for yourself.
For Emma Peifer, apple picking is a family affair as she manages Peifer Orchards in Yellow Springs. Her dad, John, planted the first trees 27 years ago, the year Emma was born.
“It actually started as a hobby and now it’s a business with 4,000 apple trees,” Peifer said.
It’s a thriving business as they frequently have a few thousand people hike through their orchard on a fall weekend. The family business has become an annual destination for thousands of Miami Valley families.
“I think that’s what makes the job so rewarding,” Peifer said. “I loved growing up here and I love being able to share the experience with others.”
Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on both physical and mental health – including improving sleep, boosting immune function and strengthening emotional well-being. With apple picking season in full swing, it can also be fun and delicious.
“Little kids learn where food actually comes from and it’s a lot of fun for families,” said Glenn Monnin of Monnin’s Fruit Farm. “We have people who tell us their grandparents brought them here when they were kids, and now, they are bringing their own kids.”
Monnin’s has been in business for more than six decades, offering a variety of u-pick fruit throughout the year.
“Apple picking is a fun, fall tradition for a lot of people,” he said.
The apple picking tradition is also alive and well at Tüken’s Orchard & Farm Market.
“We have so many repeat customers,” owner Mary Hora said. “This is their go-to place.”
The West Alexandria mainstay has a store and has expanded its homemade offerings to include ice cream, cider and even wine.
“But the biggest draw is the fruit orchard,” Hora said.
Fresh for the Picking – Area U-Pick Apples
* Irons Fruit Farm
What: U-pick apples by the bag or bushel, includes a hayride
Where: 1640 Stubbs Mill Road, Lebanon
Info: For updates, visit the farm’s Facebook page or call 513-932-2853.
* Monnin’s Fruit Farm
What: U-pick apples available daily
Where: 8201 Frederick Pike, Dayton
Info: For updates visit the farm’s Facebook page, website www.monninsfruitfarm.com/ or call 937-890-4536.
* Peifer Orchards
What: U-Pick apples – 20 varieties – are available on Saturdays and Sundays through October
Where: 4590 U.S. 68 N., Yellow Springs
Info: Call 937-767-2208 or visit www.peiferorchards.com for current crop reports or to subscribe to weekly crop reports.
* The Pink House
What: Limited quantities of u-pick apples and hosting Apple Gathering Day festivities on Sept. 17 with refreshments and live entertainment.
Where: 5669 West Kessler-Cowlesville Road, West Milton
Info: Visit www.thepinkhouseorchard.com to check on availability.
* Tüken’s Orchard & Farm Market
What: Apple Picking Days run through mid-October with more than 30 varieties of apples, wagon rides available to the orchard
Where: 15725 Eaton Pike, West Alexandria
Info: Visit the orchard’s Facebook page for regular u-pick updates.
* Wesler Orchards
What: U-pick apples are available and cider season is underway at the orchard that has been operating since 1930
Where: 9319 Wesler Road, New Paris
Info: Visit https://weslerorchards.com and Facebook for updates or call 937-437-8921.
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