Fall Fun in the Orchard

When sultry summer air clears out to make way for the apple-crisp days of autumn, it's a great time to head out to an apple orchard to pick your own apples.

In New Hampshire's White Mountains, three orchards welcome families to visit and wander their tidy rows of trees, which are tended throughout the year. It's in late summer that this delicious fruit is ready to be picked and packed up on their way to star in a pie, a tart or even a school lunch bag.

Expect them to be open once Labor Day comes around for its three-day weekend and through Columbus Day weekend and beyond. Check the forecast to see if you'll need a jacket as fall comes on; otherwise, load up the family, dress comfortably and bring a camera! Being out in the sunshine on a lovely fall day is a day you will remember when the family gathers to enjoy the dishes you make that includes the apples you picked.

Here are few of our local orchards:

Windy Ridge Orchard and Christmas Tree Farm
1775 Benton Rd., North Haverhill 603-787-6377
Open 9 am - 5 pm, daily through December. A family destination where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch at the Cider House Cafe; children's playground; friendly farm animals; nature trails and gift shop.

Hollow Hill Farm
Hollow Hill Road, Tamworth 603-323-7456
Open 9 am - 5 pm Thursday through Sunday, Labor Day to Oct. 15 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) Well-groomed with mountain views and handicap access; PYO apples and pumpkins.

Hatch's Orchard
1440 Brownfield Rd., Center Conway 603- 447-5687
Open 10 am - 5 pm, weekends and holidays Labor Day through Columbus Day. Visitors can bring a picnic and their own containers to pick. Offering McIntosh, Empire, Cortland and Northern Spy varieties; call the number for an update on availability.

Here's one of our easy apple recipes to remember us by!
Apple Brownies
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 apples, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cream butter, add sugar gradually; beat egg and add to mixture; add apples and nuts. Sift flour and other dry ingredients;. Combine ingredients; turn into greased 9x9 pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees (F).