Apple Picking at Baugher’s Orchard

Americans like traditional things such as football, hot dogs and humble apple pie. The farmers at Baugher’s Orchard stumbled across the idea of making a pie using Honeycrisp apples. The limited edition Honeycrisp pie has become a fan favorite among visitors to the orchard. Thankfully, I snagged the second to last pie and couldn’t wait to go home and try a slice. Thank you Baugher’s for stumbling across this genius concoction!

While Honeycrisp apples are not available right now for pick-your-own, check back as apple varieties ripen at different times. I cannot stress this enough – head to the PYO orchard as soon as they open for business. Baugher’s is currently open for apple picking on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. Of the Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Mutzu varieties, Mutzu was the only one readily available. The sweet-tart apple is huge in size and one of the orchard’s most popular apples. The majority of the fruit are dwarf trees making it easy for little ones to reach. For the daring, there are ladders to reach the highest apples.

Line up outside the farm market to board the tractor. Of the two tractors, one is open with bench seating while the second is leather seating with a canopy. They run every five minutes making the two minute journey to the orchard. There, a staff member will give you bags and explain the picking process. You can also pay for your fruit here. Apples are priced at $1.29 per pound. At each PYO area there is a portable toilet. There is a small tent with a few seats where you can wait for the tractor to pick you up.

So while I said there wasn’t much for PYO, the market offered a half dozen pre-picked varieties of apples. Some of the items are produced on the farm like corn, honey, apple butter, along with all the baked goods including fudge and ice cream. I recommend ordering your pie in advance, especially if you have a favorite like me. Decorate your home for fall with pumpkins starting at .49 per pound, mums, straw bales, garden flags and more. The farm market is open daily from 8am to 6pm.

Outside the farm market, test your knowledge of honey, apples and pumpkins. Panel boards include answers to questions like why do fresh apples float and what is the pumpkin capital of the world? A plus is that there are real, clean restrooms here with a changing area.

Children will delight in the numerous wooden playgrounds starting with the one in front of the market. The shaded area features a giant apple, McCormick-Deering tractor, baby and regular swings, slide, Baugher’s Orchard Express train, photo cut out, porch swings, gazebo and picnic tables. The negative is that the playground is set at the top of a hill. I was on high alert as there is nothing fencing the playground on either side; the hill and the busy parking lot.

On your way to the orchard you pass the petting zoo. Leave your car in the main parking lot or park in the “zoo parking” lot. I was very impressed with the petting zoo. At first, I was taken aback by some of the pens with overgrown weeds and realized animals are not housed there anymore, or so I believe. There is a family of guinea fowl and a pair of rabbits in the first area. For 50 cents, you can get a handful of food from the dispenser. We opted earlier to get a bag of food from the market. Same price, but the bag makes things less messy. Be very careful when you open the gate to the open farm area. Between the donkey and the baby Billy goat, several of us were holding the animals back as they were trying to escape! As you walk around, beware of animal droppings. Roaming free were two alpacas, several sheep, goats and Billy goats. The alpaca, ducks and young turkeys were kept behind the fence and had information posted about the animals. The roaming zoo of animals were so friendly and jumped, yes jumped, when they saw food. They were completely harmless and loved the attention from people. One baby Billy goat managed to jump on top of a shed to eat some leaves from a nearby tree. All of us laughed in amazement seeing him jump down landing on both feet!

In addition to the petting zoo is a small pond with fountain and lookout area plus a small swing set. A hand washing station is outside the entrance. Outside the zoo is an additional playground with a little house built into it and gazebo.

Tips

  • Before heading out, call the hotline at 410.857.0111 for picking and weather conditions.
  • Fall harvest weekends are held in October from 10am to 5pm. In addition to apple and pumpkin picking, there will be food vendors and pony rides.
  • If you miss the apple season, check back for pick-your-own pumpkins, strawberries, peas, sweet and sour cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines.
  • Baugher’s is open late April thru December 24. They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Memorial Day.

We love that Baugher’s has free admission. They have made every effort to make their orchard not only fun for parents, but awesome for kids.

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OK Editorial Team

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