Apple picking in upstate New York is a must-do for every Cornellian. Delicious apples aside, the crisp orange, yellow and red leaves, fresh air and fragrance of an apple orchard make the experience one to remember. I can guarantee a trip to the orchard will make one forget all about prelims and upcoming assignments; all stress will disappear. The best farm to visit is Indian Creek Farm — a 40-acre farm with over 100 fruits and vegetables available for “U-Pick.”
I visited the farm after Applefest weekend, so my go-to honey crisp apple was all cleaned out. However, I still picked a basket full of apples, without duplicating any variety. Peaches are no longer in season, but the pear trees are still full of small, but flavorful, fruit. As I wandered through endless rows of trees, taking in the oddly pleasant, sweet smell of rotting fruit, it was difficult to resist sampling every apple variety I passed. After filling a basket with as many apples and pears as I could manage, I moved on to the u-pick vegetable patch.
The tall brussels sprout plot first caught my eye; there was a bucket by the gate, with massive tree shears anyone could grab to cut their thick stems. I successfully wielded my three-foot-long scissors to take down the tallest stalk of brussels sprouts I could find. It took both hands to carry my child-size branch of brussels to the car, so parking close by is a must when taking multiple trips to unload armfulls of fresh produce.
I eventually made my way through the rows of tomatoes, hot peppers and eggplants. I relished being left to my own devices to wander the farm and pick whatever my heart desired. Ladders were left out in convenient locations to aid in reaching high-growing fruit, and handwritten signs labeled every variety of crop. Picking in peace was refreshing. I was not bothered by staff looking over my shoulder or crowds of people pushing by.
On my way out, I stopped by the flower patch, where it costs eight dollars to take home as many beautiful dahlias, zinnias and other blooms as one can grasp. All-in-all, I spent thirty-five dollars on baskets full of produce, an enormous stalk of brussels sprouts and a quart of fresh cider donuts. The check-out process could not have been easier; you bring all your pickings to the main building and place them on a giant scale. Fruits and vegetables are the same price per pound, so you can mix and match whatever variety of produce you like in the same basket. The only challenge is going to be eating my overabundance of food!
Olivia Smith is a senior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She can be reached at [email protected].