This week, 14850 Dining is checking out the fresh fruit ready for the pickin’ at Littletree Orchards. Right down the road from Ithaca in Newfield, Littletree is open Thursday through Monday each week through October, and sells at area farmers markets, as well.
Apple season is just a few weeks in, with early breeds like the Japanese Akane cross and the beautiful tart Burgundy apple now in good supply.
The farm always has advice on which breeds make good eating apples, baking apples, and sauce apples, which are ready to eat right now, as well as which ones are suited to long-term storage. As you move through the orchard, rows with fruit ready to pick are marked with the names of the breeds.
Coming in the next few weeks are excellent choices like Jonamac and Macoun, and Northern Spy and Jonagold will be around in about a month.
Bring the family for some picking, with plenty of fruit in reach of even the littlest kids, and when they get tired of that, there’s a playground complete with swing set, and a comfortable game room to enjoy while the grownups relax with crisp, just-pressed cider and old-fashioned apple cider donuts, just 75 cents each and hot off the fryer. Up to you whether to tell the kids about the cider slushies.
Picking the fruit yourself is a good way to save money compared to buying bags at the farmers market, and if you’re baking or making applesauce, grab the “drops,” the fruit that’s already on the ground, for an even lower price per pound. But the farm also has a range of seasonal squash and other fresh fruit, plus applesauce, apple butter, and even raw apple cider vinegar.
Find Littletree Orchards at 345 Shaffer Road in Newfield, open 10am-6pm Thursday through Monday, or call them at 607-564-9246 and tell them you heard about them here.