Apple picking season has begun in Connecticut, and orchards and farms across the state have opened their doors for the fall season. However, this year's crop looks and tastes a little different due to the effects of the summer drought. Here's a guide to visiting the state's orchards this fall.
CT APPLE ORCHARDS
Alyson Bowman / Hearst Connecticut Media
Averill Farm is a tenth-generation legacy around since 1746. It is open seasonally, from Aug. 15 to Dec. 24 offering a variety of fruits and fall activities like apple, pear and pumpkin picking. The farm also sells its own cider, apple cider donuts, cut flowers and old-fashioned homemade jams and jellies.
Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard
Vic Eng / Hearst CT Media
Beardsley's has been operating in Shelton since 1849. It was originally a dairy farm until a school bus lost its brakes and crashed into the barn in 1973, burning it to the ground. The orchard has since been revived and houses 10,000 apple trees.
The Belltown Hill Orchard was founded in 1904 by the Preli family and has been passed down from one generation to the next keeping it in the family today.
Bishop's Orchards Farm Market & Winery
Nicole Funaro / Hearst Connecticut Media Group
This orchard has been around since 1871. Today it is also home to a farm market and winery. Apples, pumpkins, pears and raspberries are available for picking between late August and late October this year. Its farm market's bakery has sweet cider donuts as well.
This sixth-generation farm has been operated by the Henry family since 1904. It is 300 acres of fresh fruit and lush farmland.
Todd Tracy / The News-Times
A staple in the Bethel community, Blue Jay Orchards is open for picking Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Its "famous" apple cider donuts and its cider are the best-selling items in its farm market.
The 1889 farm is still thriving four generations later. Apple picking began on Sept. 5, and is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Burdick's has been around since 1730 and was originally part of one of the founding farms of New Hartford. It offers apple picking, handcrafts and baked goods.
Defazio's has officially opened its corn maze and apple picking grounds for the fall.
Glastonbury's Dondero Orchards is over a century old. It brings local residents, baked goods, fresh fruit to pick and craft fairs.
Drazen Orchards traces its history back to the 1800s when it was not only an orchard, but a wood mill as well. The orchard offers a variety of fruit to pick from annually.
Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media
Easy Pickin's Orchard has blossomed into fields of apples since its small beginning with 25 apple trees.
It's not every day you hear of a doctor turned farmer, but Doctor Fred Kudish is one who made Hickory Hill Orchard what it is today. The orchard has been in the family for over 40 years and produces over 20 varieties of apples available to pick.
High Hill is open for the 2022 apple picking season until Nov. 28. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays.
Holmberg Orchards is a fourth-generation orchard being run by a family unit. The orchard is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Mondays. Apple cider donuts are served hot and fresh on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the fall.
H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media
Horse Listener's Orchard is 153 acres full of berries waiting to be picked. The orchard is open for apple picking starting late-September and host special events and train rides during the fall.
Irish Bend is a fourth-generation orchard growing vegetables and fruit.
The Johnny Appleseed Farm was built in 1977. The 60-acre land features dwarf apple trees with 14 different varieties.
Karabin Farms is offering apple picking this season with over 15 varieties of apples.
Lapsley Orchard has 20 acres with 24 different kinds of apples growing on it. Apple picking is available from Sept. 1 and pumpkin picking will be available Oct. 1.
Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media
Lyman Orchards is over two centuries old and is still open to give locals fresh produce. Visitors can also find apple cider donuts, prepared meals, deli sandwiches and other freshly baked goods.
Rogers Orchards - Shuttle Meadow Farm Store
Photo by Frank Whitman
Rogers Orchards planted its first apple trees in 1809 — the same year Abraham Lincoln was born. Fast forward a century and now the orchard is eight generations strong. The orchard is home to over 20 varieties of apples, among other fruits. It also makes cider donuts, fruit pies, apple sour cream coffee cake and apple dumplings.
Catherine Avalone / New Haven Register
Rose Orchards has been passed on through the years, making today's owners the twelfth generation.
Scott's is open for apple and pumpkin picking daily this season. On weekdays it is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scotts' Connecticut Valley Orchards
Scotts' Connecticut Valley Orchards has been around since the late 1800s. The orchard grows an assortment of fruit, including a variety of apples. Apple picking is available Monday through Saturday this year from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Ned Gerard / CT Post
Silverman's Farm began booming with apple trees during the roaring 1920s. The farm grows all types of fruits and vegetables. It also makes donuts with its own fresh apple cider. Apple picking opened on Aug. 27 this season.
Woodstock Orchards was established in 1958 by a Guilford farmer who grew up on Bishop's Orchard. Over the course of time Woodstock Orchard grew to be a farm store, picking orchard and bakery all rolled into one.
Wright's Orchard started with 250 semi-dwarf apple trees and today houses over 2,000.