Atlanta, GA: Apple Picking
An hour and a half outside Atlanta is an authentic, working farm, like the kind of farms country music songs sing about. You know Luke Bryan’s song ‘Rain Is a Good Thing’, where he sings about Farmer Johnson, or Craig Morgan’s song ‘International Harvester’? Oh yes, I am talking about these kind of farms. To be honest, this is actually one of the first farms I spent the day at. Living in San Diego, visiting farms are not the typical weekend activity.
The first thing I see when stepping foot on the farm (by the way I am wearing wedges and a dress, but that is another story) is a large man on an even larger tractor. That tractor just happens to be green, just like Jason Aldean’s song ‘I’ll take you for a ride on my big green tractor’. I am literally living out of a country music song. The farmer on the tractor was exactly what I had imagined a farmer to look like, just like Old McDonald’s farm I used to sing about as a child!
If you are reading this, you are probably wondering why am I even on a farm. I had this idea in my head about what country life was, and felt the need since I was in the South, to experience it. We started our day by roaming through B.J Reece Apple Orchards, where you can pick right off the trees. The apple picking is sold by the size of bag you want to fill up with apples. We chose the medium bag, which was $12. In addition to this, there was a $5 fee each person who entered the farm had to pay. This fee covered the tractor ride, pig races, corn maze, cow train, cow milking, and other farm activities.
The apple picking was a really unique experience. The natural beauty found on a farm is like no other. Looking up in the trees to find fruit growing is so refreshing. Though the drive out there was long, we combined the trip with Amicalola Falls, blog post here, which was only 20 mins from the orchard.
Throughout the orchard were large crates full of apples one can pick from if you do not feel like grabbing from the trees. The orchard had over 60 acres of areas to pick apples from, with a variety of apple choices, like Granny Smith, Rome Beauty, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious, just to name a few.
If you want to get the farm-fresh apples without having to roam through a farm, the barn market across the street sells already picked apples from the orchard. This is a great option if you are short for time, or need extra apples to take back to family and friends. The store also had homemade apple products, like apple jelly, apple doughnuts, apple pies, and other local candies and products.
What to do with the apples
With the apples picked we decided to take some home for eating and made apple sauce with the rest. The Granny Smith were the best for eating in my opinion.
Easy Homemade Apple Sauce
-4 cups of chopped mixed apples
-2 teaspoons of cinnamon
-1/4 cup honey
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon or orange juice
Combine ingredients in a crockpot, and cook on low overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours.
Take an electric mixer or hand blender to mash into apple sauce.
Personal Experience: The apple picking was a fun way to spend the afternoon. I have been apple picking before in San Diego, see blog post here, but this was not like that experience. As previously mentioned early in the blog post, this was my first time on an actual farm. I imagined this apple picking to be similar to San Diego’s apple picking, where they served us apple wine and we walked around picking apples. A major comparison was the size of the orchard. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get out of the city, and experience a more authentic country outing.
Traveler Tip: Since this is an actual farm, dress accordingly. I was wearing wedges and a dress, and was the only one dressed like this! When you are up in this area, visit Amicalola Falls, blog post here. This is the perfect addition to a trip up in this region of Georgia!