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Apple picking day on Long Island a bare experience

A bare apple tree at Lewin Farms in

A bare apple tree at Lewin Farms in Calverton. (Sept. 18, 2011) Photo Credit: Carl Corry

It’s usually a safe bet this time of year that you’ll find plenty of apples still on the trees at U-pick farms across central Suffolk.

So, like every year on the third weekend of September, my family and I headed out to Lewin Farms on Fresh Pond Avenue in Calverton this morning, raring to get the tastiest bunch for less than you’ll pay at supermarkets. And the kids love the experience.

With great weather and an early start -- 10 a.m. is the perfect time to avoid the miles-long traffic that usually builds up on Route 25A -- we were sure this would be one of the best years to grab our favorites.

But not so. We quickly found out that the trees were mostly bare and people were coming out of the orchard with only a bucket or two -- nothing like the wagons-full as usual.

A friend said she went yesterday and found little to pick, as well, but another said he did OK today. "There's some good stuff if you look," he said. 

After Lewin's, we headed to Windy Farms on Middle Country Road in Calverton, where it was a little better for us, but not by much.

The good news is that the Lewin farm stand on Sound Avenue in Wading River was packed with all the stuff you’d expect -- from fresh apples and tomatoes to blueberry and harvest fruit pies.

If you’re looking to find other places to go picking, check out ExploreLI’s guide.

Oh, and when apple picking, how can you immediately spot someone from the city? They're wearing dress shoes and pants while walking in the orchards. It happens all the time.

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