Pick Your Own

Yesterday, Mal and I went apple picking at Rocky Brook Orchard in Middletown, Rhode Island. We’ve wanted to go apple picking for weeks now, so we Googled nearby orchards and found this one.

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Rocky Brook is a small orchard that offers pick your own apples, peaches, and pears. Surprisingly, the orchard has 45 different varieties of apples, including many rare ones. By 2012, the orchard plans to have 60 varieties of apples!

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Rocky Brook Orchard has a system to make it easier for their customers to find the varieties of apples which are ripe to pick. The trees are not planted in specific rows, so it’s somewhat difficult to tell which variety is which. To help with this, the folks at Rocky Brook Orchard tied a small wooden tag with the type of apple carved into it on each tree. (We even saw a couple of tags labeled with just a question mark. I wonder if they were rare varieties?) The tags hang near the bottom of the tree truck, so they’re easy to see. Hanging beneath the tag is a small painted spool. The color of the spool lets you know the time of year that the apple is ripe. For instance, the ripening period for yellow is late September-early October.

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Maybe tons of orchards have this same system, but Mal and I thought it was genius.

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One of my favorite kinds of apples is Macoun (crisp + tart), so as soon as we found a tree, I loaded up our bag. It’s a good thing Mal likes them too! He loves all apples.

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The rest of our bag was filled with a mix of apples– Macintosh, Red Delicious, Cortland, Empire. Unfortunately, the peaches were already picked and the pears weren’t quite ripe yet, so we didn’t get any. Mal and I only planned to pick apples, so we weren’t disappointed. I mean, apples = apple crisp.

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Have you been apple picking this year? What other kinds of fruit have you picked?


  1. I haven’t been apple picking yet- it’s about time to go! I love to cut the apples up (any variety) and make a homemade applesauce in the crockpot! The whole house smells like Fall! Looks like you picked an awesome weekend to spend in Newport- 80s in October? Crazy…

  2. We went last weekend…it was wonderful! Cortlands are one of my favorites, great for pies and apple crisps! Enjoy your day…it looks like you guys are having fun!!

  3. My friends went yesterday but I was working unfortunately, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to go this year! It’s one of my favorite activities so I hope to. And I love making applesauce with all the apples I pick.

  4. I agree — mcoun are the best!! I had been apple picking 2 weeks ago,and had a mix of mcintosh and mcoun, and I always picked out the mcoun from my fruit basket. So, yesterday I went back and only got mcoun. The mcintosh will be converted into a computer….aehm… apple tart 😉

  5. What a fun day! I would have gone nuts, love all apples except Red Delicious! As a kid, my family and I used to go strawberry picking every summer- good times!

  6. Yesterday was the perfect apple picking day. There was bumper to bumper traffic on a one lane road a few minutes from my house that leads to an apple orchard, it was insane! Everyone from NYC was coming up to do the apple picking thing 😉 Macouns and honeycrisps are my favorites.

  7. Yummy! I love apple picking, in planning on going next weekend with a friend. Can’t wait to make homemade apple sauce and apple crisp!

  8. Such a cute pic of you with the apple bag!!

    This year was the first time I’ve gone apple picking and it was so much fun! We have an apple tree in our backyard, so I picked from there first (from up in a front loader bucket on the tractor!), then we went to an orchard. The trees were NOT marked at all so we just guessed as to what type of apples we got! They are still good, but we went a little early. Next year, I’ll definitely wait a bit. We got peaches while we were there too which was awesome for the summer!!!

  9. Jealous! Everyone is going apply picking, we orchards around here! But this summer we did visit a berry farm and next weekend a pumpkin farm 🙂

  10. I have never been apple picking. I think that is the coolest thing ever! I would’ve went nuts and picked every apple. I would’ve definitely wanted some peaches too though!

  11. We have went apple picking in the past. With fall being here I’ve been really in the mood to pick some apples! Picking blueberries, raspberries and strawberries would have to be my favorite. Thanksgiving here in Canada is this week so we have some apple recipes to do.

  12. Looks like a great time!
    I’m actually going apple picking today with my boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. We’re going straight for the Golden Delicious and Crispen apples.
    The farm also has a winery and brewery…which we will visit after the picking (probably a good sequence) haha.

  13. I went apple picking when David was home on R&R. We had a great time! Although the weather was super muggy. But we got a bag full of apples and pears. 🙂

  14. I want to go apple picking – I’ve never done it before, even though apples are one of my favorite fruits! My favorites are yellow delicious & Granny smith 🙂

  15. I love that tree labeling system. I have never seen it before. I went apple picking last weekend. I got Jonagolds ( my favorite) empires, honey crisps, and pinatas (these were new to me). I love that you were able to apple pick in a tank top!

  16. C’mon, Tina. It’s Middletown! Not Middleton! (Haha sorry, that’s my obnoxious native Rhode Islander coming out for a little snark).

    Haven’t been apple picking in a loooong time, but it’s one of my favorite memories from my childhood. My parents used to take us to Schartner Farms (also in RI) to go apple and pumpkin picking, and then to enjoy their freshly made french fries. Those were some perfect fall days!

  17. I am studying in Sweden for the year and there are apple trees everywhere here (parks, backyards, along the streets…). The best part is you can pick as many apples as you want off any tree you see! (no payment necessary) There are many different varieties and they are all very delicious. I love the fall!


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