Lifestyle

Escaping The City for a Day of Apple Picking

An annual tradition: picking apples with friends.

I settled in Washington, DC after finishing undergrad for one reason. “It’s the perfect balance of southern open space and northern urban living,” I told all my family and friends back home in Atlanta. But after a few winters in the capital city, even that perfect balance was enough to make me miss my southern homeland.

Every summer in my childhood, I was sent to live in rural Greenville, Alabama with my grandmother. The days were long; the hours moving slower than the molasses on my granny’s homemade biscuits. I passed the time not by watching YouTube or IM’ing friends (mostly because there was no internet access,) but by shelling purple-hull peas, shucking corn, and riding in the back of my uncle’s pickup truck. 

Handy Chef Lex Black People Apple Picking
Handy Chef Lex, and friends, picking apples.

As an adult, summers don’t feel so long anymore. Instead of running through fields of bright collard greens and tomatoes, I spend more time running through metro stations. In childhood I abhorred the sweaty boredom of those slow Alabama summers. But now I purposefully spend my time and money travelling to pick vegetables and play in dirt.

The Farm

The abundance of “Pick-Your-Own” farms in the DC region is like a well-kept secret. With so many options to pick from, I’ve been loyal to one farm for four years; Larriland Farms in Woodbine, MD. Larriland is about an hour outside of DC. But the trek is all a part of the fun. Every year, I round up some friends, rent a car, and drive until I’m surrounded by apple trees.

Larriland Farms is the ultimate autumn escape. Local families fill up the fields and the Red Barn Farm Market. The farm offers hay rides, a straw maze, food trucks, and the friendliest staff around! The first time I visited Larriland Farms, I came only seeking apples but was delighted to find other fruits and vegetables ripe for picking as well. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of the produce and festivities at Larriland Farms.

This Year’s Haul

Larriland Farm Apple Cider
  • 1 bag Spinach
  • 1 bag Kale
  • 7 lbs Apples (Stayman and Braeburn mix)
  • 1 bag Fresh Kettle Corn
  • 1/2 gallon Apple Cider

Be on the lookout for new apple recipes from The Handy Chef, as I figure out what to do with seven pounds of apples.

Alexis Henry Handy chef Lex Apple Picking
Handy Chef Lex picking kale.

Will you go apple picking this autumn?

One comment

  1. Well, now I want to go apple picking! You make it look so fun.
    I also want to spend slow summers in the South, too. Your description kind of reminds me of summers spent on a tiny west coast island. Different activities -shucking clams and oysters, picking berries- but very much the same feeling.
    Our apple season is over-I’m in the North- but I’m going to add this to my to list for next year. I’m in love with that cider. I can never find it in the stores here and I always crave it or want to use it in recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

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