After a long Southern summer, we’re ready for the cooler, sweater-swathed activities of fall. Here at Southern Living, that means showing our school spirit, putting together the perfect tailgate, and, of course, going bananas for apples. This year, we thought we’d pick our own to use in our favorite apple recipes, everything from the best apple pies to apple-bourbon pork chops.
Here are just a few of the places around the South where you can fill your baskets this fall. Make sure to call ahead for availability. All of the locations listed below include tasting notes on their sites, so you can go armed knowing what you’d most like to pick–and when they’re most likely available. And if you come across a variety that you’re not familiar with, just ask the farmers what they like to do with them.
Nivens Apple Farm, Moore, SC: Whether you need them for baking, snacking, or storing, this South Carolina apple farm’s fourteen varieties on offer cover all culinary bases.
B.J. Reece Orchards, Ellijay, GA: Come to pick Galas and aromatic Arkansas Blacks, but don’t miss the fried apple pies at the bakery.
Morgan Orchard, Sinks Grove, WV: With more than twenty varieties of apples, this West Virginia orchard has you covered from sweet Fujis to slightly tart Yorks.
Sky Top Orchard, Flat Rock, NC: When you’re finished picking from the 22 varieties, relax with an apple cider doughnut.
The Fruit and Berry Patch, Knoxville, TN: With 32 varieties, this Tennessee spot has everything from Galas to Goldrushes. Fresh fruit pies, apple butter, and apple chips are on offer for when the picking is over.
Tell us your favorite spots for apple-picking in the comments below.
And don’t throw away your apple cores! Do this instead.