Sunday, October 20, 2013

Demarest Farms - Apple Picking 2013

Sometimes you've just got to jump on the bandwagon.  And if that bandwagon just so happens to lead you to apple picking on a crisp Fall day, then so be it.

I wasn't sure I really wanted to go apple picking this year, but I think I nailed down the source of that "bah humbug" mood.  I drive my car a lot during a week.  I live in New Jersey, work in Pennsylvania, and while I'm staying out in PA, I have to drive my car virtually anywhere I want to go.  For the past few years, I've been apple picking at Terhune Orchards, a really cute farm out in Princeton, NJ.  I have a great time when I'm there, but the problem I face is that the drive there and back typically ends up being two hours each way.  In case you're wondering, this leads to exhaustion and a lackluster attitude, which is no bueno.

This year when my sister and nephew wanted to go apple picking, I was determined to find a new (and closer!) farm to visit.  After an online search, I ran into Demarest Farms.  They won me over because, besides being nearby, they had pumpkin and apple picking, hay rides, a kiddie area, and a convenient farm store.

This past weekend, we decided to give Demarest a try.  When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by tons of pumpkins, fresh fruit and the cutest farm store ever.  I have a tendency to get caught up in the charm of farm stores and want to buy everything ever.  I restrained myself and only ended up purchasing some apple cider donuts, and a painted pumpkin and a few sweets for my nephew.  Outside, the employees were also grilling up some burgers and hot dogs if you wanted something substantial to eat.  There was also a popcorn maker and of course, some coffee, and hot and cold apple cider.  

I love the pumpkin displays there.  There was also a bin of ghost pumpkins!  If I had a front yard, or even an entranceway that more than just my two neighbors would see, I would have stocked up on pumpkins.

After treating ourselves to some lunch, we walked across the street to catch a hayride to the apple and pumpkin picking area.

When we made it to our destination, we realized there was more than just apple and pumpkin picking.  There was also a corn maze, a feed-the-animals area (it was smaller than a petting zoo, but still fun for the kids), and more apple cider and apple cider donuts.

Here's a picture of the area where the hayride drops you off.  So many more pumpkins!  

The corn maze is right behind the pumpkin patch.  

The picture below is not of the corn maze.  That would be a very poorly planned corn maze if it were.

We had to walk about 10 minutes to get to the apple orchard but it was a nice mild walk.  Then we had to walk a few more minutes to search out the apple trees that still had fruit.

The people at the farm told us that many of the apples were high up in the trees, so we borrowed an apple picking pole to help with that.  After only a few minutes, we ended up with a canvas bag full of delicious Fortune apples.  We were told the bag holds about 8 pounds of apples, so I guess we had 8 pounds of fruit.  Clearly, this was all very scientific.

All in all, the trip was a fun time for all.  We picked up a small pumpkin, a bag of apples, and enjoyed hot apple cider on the hayride back to the farm.  The weather cooperated with us and it wasn't too hot or too cold outside either.  I would definitely recommend visiting Demarest Farms and checking out what they have to offer.  I would love to come back next year and do this all again!

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