Good Organic Apple Picking? - Mothering Forums

Good Organic Apple Picking?

ellairiesmom's Avatar ellairiesmom (TS)
11:34 PM Liked: 15
#1 of 10
09-08-2009 | Posts: 1,014
Joined: Mar 2008
Anyone find a good organic apple picking spot in NY/PA/NJ? Have done tons of farms in NJ over the years but am really looking to do organic going fwd.

AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT
12:30 AM Liked: 471
#2 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 2,208
Joined: May 2007
Unfortunately, organic apple growing is very difficult in the Northeast. it's only in the past few years that they've worked out how to do it without taking a massive loss on the crop, and even then, many farmers are sticking with IPM for now. (This is why all the commercially available organic apples are from Washington state, even when the conventional apples are local.)

However, the two farms mentioned here might work for you:
ellairiesmom's Avatar ellairiesmom (TS)
01:17 PM Liked: 15
#3 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 1,014
Joined: Mar 2008
Thanks so much for that info. I think we might make a day of it & visit both the farms.

After I posted my ?, I kept digging around the net but was really struggling to find much other than the tons of regular apple picking farms that I am sure are sprayed extensively.

I also just remembered that I thought some of the fall varieties at our local Whole Foods were organic so I am going to try & check that out this week & then see if I can find out which farms they come from.
paquerette's Avatar paquerette
05:43 PM Liked: 297
#4 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 6,594
Joined: Oct 2004
DH and DD1 picked some awesome apples at Rodale's a couple years ago while I was at my doula workshop. I think they were pretty reasonably priced. I'm thinking about going down again this year.
AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT
10:04 PM Liked: 471
#5 of 10
09-09-2009 | Posts: 2,208
Joined: May 2007
IPM farms should be making an effort to reduce pesticide use (one of the goals of IPM), but there isn't a clear way to know the way there is with organic.

Rodale is one of the first organic farms to try apple growing in the Northeast and they have an interesting article on the issues:

Here's another short article about Penn State's efforts:

Unfortunately, any organic apples that I have seen in supermarkets are Western--hopefully, as organic production increases in the Northeast, this will change. It is tough. Ultimately I've decided that for now, I value supporting local farmers and heirloom varieties (often only grown on small farms) over organic purity, at least for this. Apples are such a part of our history and heritage here. I love going to farms during apple season and trying all the types, rather than the 7 or 8 varieties they sell at the supermarket.
brooklyn_warbler's Avatar brooklyn_warbler
11:10 PM Liked: 16
#6 of 10
09-10-2009 | Posts: 2,086
Joined: Nov 2006
we went apple picking at stone ridge last year and loved it. it was totally beautiful, totally relaxed, and the apples were delicious.
Two Spunky Monkeys's Avatar Two Spunky Monkeys
01:52 PM Liked: 0
#7 of 10
09-13-2009 | Posts: 372
Joined: May 2004
FYI - Rodale is having an Organic Apple festival today! It was rained out yesterday.
jgale's Avatar jgale
10:46 AM Liked: 11
#8 of 10
09-14-2009 | Posts: 586
Joined: Jan 2003
Just curious: what makes it so hard? especially since apples are such a long-standing tradition all over the country...
AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT
04:19 PM Liked: 471
#9 of 10
09-14-2009 | Posts: 2,208
Joined: May 2007
Try reading the articles I linked above - they explain the problems and why the Northeast has them worse than the West.
SleeplessMommy's Avatar SleeplessMommy
03:50 PM Liked: 31
#10 of 10
09-15-2009 | Posts: 5,113
Joined: Jul 2005
If you like heirloom varieties, try Hopewell Furnace. :

They use integrative pest management, so they do spray early in the season, but not anywhere near as much as a commercial grower.

We have 15 unsprayed apple trees in our PA yard - of heirloom varieties - the result is edible after we cut the worms out, but could never be sold because people expect nice looking uniform apples. If I ever plant apple trees again I may go with disease resistant instead of heirloom.
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