Being that it is national apple month and all I decided to share with you my story about growing up right in the heart of Apple Country in New York. I did not always love the sleepy little orchard town I grew up in, but I have come to appreciate it and love it, especially in the fall.
Wayne County is situated on the south shore of Lake Ontario, and aside from being the butt of too many 315 jokes it’s major claim to fame is apple production. Wayne County ranks as the top apple producing county in New York, and 3rd in the country.
As you can imagine growing up this agricultural fact barely registered any sort of importance to me. All I knew was I was stuck in a boring orchard community, and wanted out as soon as possible.
I pretty much grew up right in the middle of an apple orchard. You could throw an apple in almost any direction and have it land in an orchard. As a kid I would play with friends in an old orchard, we would make forts out of the old un- maintained apple trees, and spend time in them for most of the afternoon during summer. When I was a teenager I would hang out in orchards late into the night with friends, because there was little else to do for fun.
Of course as soon as I could I high tailed it out of apple town for bigger and better things.
Later when I moved back home in my early 20’s and started going back to school, every morning before my commute to college I would walk through a neighboring orchard. I would pilfer apples to eat on the ride to school and back. I spent a lot of time walking around in orchards that fall, sorting out life and eating apples off the trees. The quiet in the orchard and neatly maintained rows of trees dotted with fruit offered the order and familiarity I craved during that chaotic time. It was then I realized how special these places are, these orchards that come to live every fall and burst with fruit and activity.
It has been many years since I have lived next to an orchard, but I love going back home to Wayne County during harvest time, and do every year. Which usually consists of a visit to the Apple Shed for apples with the kids.
So I was thrilled when I recently caught up with the same friend, whose apples I pilfered during those early college days and orchards I hung out in during my teens at a local farmers market. I asked him if I could wander around his orchards when they were not busy and take pictures.
He generously agreed, and even told me to help myself to apples while I was there. He clearly must not realize how many apples I took that fall I moved back in with my mother.
Anyway, I had a lovely visit walking around and snapping all the pictures in this post.
It was amazing how many memories the brief walk I took brought back; from a childhood spent rambling in orchards, to a young adult finding her place in the world.
You don’t have to be from Wayne County to appreciate all it has to offer. Wayne County really is pretty this time of the year and there is a lot going on, check out some of these links and plan your visit:
- WAYNE COUNTY NY APPLE TASTING TOUR– Apple taste testing is one way to learn the differences in apples including taste, texture and scent. Drive yourself from market to market and taste the different varieties and take the “Apple Taste Test”. Enjoy apples, baked goods, cider, fresh produce, door prize drawings and more!
- Wayne County Tourism– Explore our rich history with a visit to one of our many museums. Pick fresh fruit right from the trees in our famous orchards. Spend a day on our antique trail finding that perfect treasure. End your day with a stay at one of our award-winning Bed & Breakfasts.
- The Apple Shed–Since 1907 The Apple Shed has been growing the finest quality fruit and vegetables on the land surrounding The Apple Shed. Family-focused activities all season long.
***If you are wondering I did not steal any apples on my visit, I just took pics 🙂