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Best place for apples?

Hi Chowhounds!

Anyone have any recommendations for places to buy apples for applesauce for autumn canning projects? I live in Fairmount so something relatively close to the city would be helpful, but I don't mind a small adventure. Jersey is fine also.

Doesn't have to be "pick your own," but can be if the price/quality is good.

Thanks!

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  1. In Bucks County, I can recommend two great orchards:

    Styer Orchards in Langhorne, (not far from the Oxford Valley Mall).

    Solebury Orchards which is not far from New Hope, PA and the great Rice's Market.

    Both of these would come under the "small adventure" category. They each have websites and give guidance as to when specific varieties of apples will be available. Beware Solebury is only open Thurs- Sunday.

    1. Hill Creek Farms in Mullica Hill NJ is nice and they just opened for the season. They're pretty new - last year was their first season - but I stocked up then on pick-your-own & also pre-picked baskets for applesauce with great results. Other small farm markets all around there off 45 and 322, so if you made it an adventure you could probably stock up on other good stuff at the same time. They do a lot of pumpkin and squash as well.

      http://www.hillcreekfarms.com/

      1. are either of these farms organic? I am also looking for an organic farm within 30-40 mins of Bryn Mawr/Ardmore.

        8 Replies
        1. re: paychecktoday

          http://www.pickyourown.org/PAeast.htm is a great resource for Eastern Pa for both pick your own and stands. "Integrated Pest Management" is their term for organic farming practices. Whether they have been certified organic is another story.. that costs money and may not be worth it for some smaller farms.

          1. re: cwdonald

            Does anyone have any input on Hellerick's Family Farm in Doylestown? I see they don't grow their own apples, but I want to know more about their other produce and is it worth the drive from the Main Line.

            I'm most likely gonna take a look at Indian Orchards in Media for their fruits. Any input on their stuff is most grateful too.

            1. re: paychecktoday

              Hellerick's has been around for a LONG time. My hubby and his family used to go there for their corn and other produce when he was a kid. (He's 35 now.) We pass by frequently traveling to his grandmother's. I always want to stop, but by the time we're on our way home, they're already closed. One day!

              I've been to Indian once, but I didn't realize I needed cash. Didn't pick anything, but had a look around. Looked like a great spot, though small and definitely seemed more family owned. I'm hoping to hit them in the spring when all of the delish berries are available.

          2. re: paychecktoday

            Indian Orchards is organic - in Media, PA.

            http://agmap.psu.edu/Businesses/406

            They don't have a website, but plenty of info in the link above.

            I typically go to Linvilla Orchards, basically next to Indian. Linvilla practices IPM.

            1. re: kscooley

              I was told that Linvilla Orchards uses ALOT of pesticides, which I am not looking for. Besides that, LO is an awesome place to bring the kids, especially now with their Pumpkinland theme going on.

              1. re: paychecktoday

                Hmm, when I emailed them, they told me they practice IPM. I would have thought less pesticides because of such. Well, I did give them a thorough soaking in a vinegar/water solution, cleans them up good. Hopefully I got the worst of whatever might have been on them. Where did you hear that they use a lot? Just curious.

                1. re: kscooley

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/710471

                  the person who posted after me stated they used a visble amount of pesicides. i have also gone there from time to time, and have seen a sheen of white on some of their fruits/vegetables.

                  1. re: paychecktoday

                    Interesting. There was no white sheen on any of our apples. Who knows...

          3. Many, if not most, farmers at the local farmers markets will sell "seconds" cheap. That should be fine for apple sauce. Obviously, they don't put them on display so you have to ask.

            1. just FYI we braved the Pumpkin land crowds at Linvilla last Sun --finally found a parking place, walked from the car --to find a sign saying Linvilla was "all picked out" of apples --NONE LEFT! that is the first time in 30 years I can remember taht happening... so we braved traffic and went down teh gravel path to Indian orchards next door -- all organic, one man operation. super over priced (not sure about exact prices but $9 mums?) the apples were all very, very spotted and brown, we bought a few (like 6) because we didn't want to just leave --and then saw that they were priced MORE per pound than Whole Paycheck in our hood....

              1 Reply
              1. re: elmom

                The apple crops have suffered a lot this year because of all the rain we had. :( Stinks! There wasn't a huge selection when we went earlier this month, so I'm not surprised that they're all picked out now.

                As for Indian - good to know about prices. And again, the apples - I'll bet it was because of the rain. Linvilla had a lot that were spotted, brown or surrounding the tree on the ground, split open, etc.