Long Island U-pick apple orchards

Getting a bit carried away, Paris Ryder, 17

Getting a bit carried away, Paris Ryder, 17 and from Dix Hills, struggles to balance her bushel of apples on her shoulder on a foray of apple picking at Lewin Farms in Calverton. (Sept. 3, 2012) (Credit: Randee Daddona)

It's a good year for apples. That's the word from local growers who have opened fields extra early this year for U-pick visitors.

"We're expecting one of the nicer crops we've had in a long time," says Bob Gammon, who owns Woodside Orchard in Aquebogue with his brother Scott. "The quality, size and quantity are good. Everything is looking really nice."

On Long Island, the apple season is expected to stretch into early October -- but now is the time to pick early varieties -- such as Honeycrisp -- which will be long gone by then.

Most trees are either dwarf (about 8 feet) or semi-dwarf (10 feet). If you're interested in a particular variety, it is a good idea to call for availability.

 

WHERE TO PICK

Davis Peach Farm

561 Hulse Landing Rd., Wading River

INFO 631-929-1115, davispeachfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

COST $1.20 per pound

VARIETIES About 30, including Honeycrisp, McIntosh and Tsugaru

Perhaps best known for its U-pick peaches, this orchard also has full-size apple trees planted in neat rows.

 

Hank's Pumpkintown

240 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill

INFO 631-726-4667, hankspumpkintown.com

HOURS 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 15-17 and daily starting Sept. 22

COST $18 per one-peck bag (8-12 pounds, depending on apple size)

VARIETIES 12, including Jonagold, SunCrisp and Snow Sweet

The farm has dwarf apple trees for family-friendly picking. You'll also find roasted corn ($3) and wagon rides.

 

Harbes Farm and Orchard

5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead

INFO 631-298-0800, harbesfamilyfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends and Oct. 8

COST $8 a person admission includes quarter-peck bag (about 10 apples) and hayride; $15 admission includes a peck bag

VARIETIES 10, including Honeycrisp, Daybreak Fuji and Shizuka

Harbes will host its inaugural Apple Festival 10 a.m.-6 p.m. this weekend. Take a hayride ($5), listen to live music and visit the petting zoo.

 

Lewin Farms/Baiting Hollow Nursery

Fresh Pond Avenue, Calverton

INFO 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com

HOURS Call before coming to see which pick-your-own fields are open.

COST $1.25 per pound

VARIETIES 13, including Empire, Mutsu, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious

The orchard's dwarf trees are marked, so you'll have to ask staffers if you're looking for a certain variety.

 

The Milk Pail

Horsemill Lane, Water Mill

INFO 631-537-2565, milk-pail.com

HOURS 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday and Oct. 8

COST $37 for a roughly 20-pound bag

VARIETIES 26, including Paula Red, Ginger Gold and Jonamac

In business 43 years, this orchard has a view of Mecox Bay and the ocean. Its semi-dwarf trees are clearly marked.

 

Seven Ponds Orchard

65 Seven Ponds Rd., Water Mill

INFO 631-726-8015

HOURS 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

COST $1.59 per pound

VARIETIES 14, including Macoun, Cameo and SnowSweet

After picking, diversions range from hay and tractor rides to a corn maze.

 

Wickham's Fruit Farm

28700 Rte. 25, Cutchogue

INFO 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com

HOURS 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday

COST $20 annual U-pick club membership required per family, then $30 per half-bushel (about 24-25 pounds)

VARIETIES More than 12, including early varieties (Ginger Gold, Graven- stein) and late season picks (Razor, Braeburn and Winesap)

This farm started a members-only club that restricts access to the fields and orchards -- so you'll often find less of a crowd. Walk or take a free wagon ride out to its semi-dwarf apple trees.

 

Windy Acres Farm

3810 Main Rd./Middle Country Rd., Calverton

INFO 631-727-4554

HOURS 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily

COST $15 per peck

VARIETIES 30, including McIntosh, Mutsu and Granny Smith

The sprawling farm has picnic and play areas for kids. The orchard has dwarf trees with many varieties for picking. Pies and doughnuts are available at the farm stand.

 

Woodside Orchards

729 Main Rd. (Route 25), Aquebogue

INFO 631-722-5770, woodsideorchards.com

HOURS (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily) and 116 Manor Lane, Jamesport (10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends and Oct. 8)

COST $15 per peck bag

VARIETIES 27, including Braeburn, Cortland and Arkansas Black

After visiting the orchard, visitors can enjoy the farm's fresh pies and treats such as apple cider doughnuts, apple slushes, candy apples and cookies.

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