Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

Apple picking season is upon us! Here in southern Ontario, the days are getting shorter, the mornings and evenings much cooler and the leaves are slowly changing colour. I love this time of the year.  Especially after that summer full of weird weather we just had.

Besides the visual signals of fall, my other favourite thing about this time of year is the tastiness. And I'm not just talking pumpkin spice lattes. Fall means an abundance of produce, including apples!

Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

Apple picking is a perfect family fall activity! If you're taking a trip to the orchard this season, these tips for apple picking will help ensure you get the most out of your basket and experience, all while making lasting memories with your family.

Tips for Apple Picking

Check the weather before you go. 

The weather can be all over the place in the fall and the last thing you want is to be over or under dressed. Dressing in layers is best - it's easier to take off a layer than put on one you don't have. If it is a warmer day, don't forget the hats and sunscreen!

Call or check the website before visiting. 

Certain varieties are only available at certain times of the year, so make sure to call ahead or check the website if you are looking for a specific type. 

Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

Leave the pets at home. 

Most orchards and farms do not allow pets for health and safety reasons. So please, do your pet a favour and leave them at home. Don't ever leave them in the car as they can overheat quickly, even in the fall.

Avoid the crowds. 

Certain times of the season will be busier than others, such as the weekends and holidays. School fall field trips will also be in full swing. If time allows, visit on a week day morning to have a more peaceful experience and your pick of the orchard.

Know the terrain. 

Orchards are often bumpy, and not stroller friendly. If your babe is not yet walking, leave the stroller at home and opt for a baby carrier instead. For older kids, bring a wagon. The wagon can serve two purposes - to carry your apples and your babe when their legs are tired.

Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

Discuss the rules beforehand. 

Before you begin, make sure to go over both the orchard rules and your own rules with your kids. Make sure they know how to tell a good apple from a bad one, and not to pick the ones from the ground or those with holes.

Know what to look for. 

Look for firm, crisp, well-coloured apples that are free of blemishes, wrinkles and bruises.

Don't mind the insects. 

Bees are a main pollinator of fruit trees, including apples. If you are allergic, ensure that you are properly prepared, especially if that means being armed with an epipen. 

Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

Be prepared to get a workout. 

Apples are usually picked and sold in bushel and half bushel quantities. A half a bushel of apples weighs around 20 pounds. It's a workout! If your children are too small to reach the apples, you will also constantly be bending and lifting to pick them up and put them down.

Make it a day trip. 

Pack a picnic lunch for after your apple picking experience. Most orchards will also offer other family activities aside from apple picking, such as hayrides, so plan some extra time to take advantage of these as well.

Tips for Apple Picking with Your Family

And the most importantantly,

Have fun! 

Enjoy making memories with your family during this fun fall family activity.

Looking for a tasty recipe to make with all of those apples? Check these out:
The Perfect Crisp
Fruit Filled Adult Pop Tarts
Apple Cinnamon Muffins

What is your favourite fall family activity? Have you ever gone apple picking? I'd love to hear about it!

A Girl with Big Dreams

It was the spring of 2004. I was standing in the kitchen at my parents' old house, my childhood home, envelope in hand. I recognized the logo in the top left corner but couldn't help but think, "The envelope is so small. It can't possibly be the answer I'm looking for."

Isn't it amazing how we can remember the exact place and time when significant events in our lives take place? 

You see, in my hands was the letter I had been waiting for. It was the letter that would potentially help shape my future. And when I opened it, I found out it was the letter that said I had been accepted to the university of my choice, into the program of my choice.

Heritage Education Funds Heritage Heroes

Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a strong affinity to the outdoors. Particularly, the water. Like many, as a young girl I had big dreams of becoming a marine biologist. Except, unlike many others, I was bound and determined to make it happen.

And, in a sense, I did.

Heritage Education Funds Heritage Heroes

Four years following that event in my parents' kitchen, I graduated with a degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology and the tools to begin a career doing what I had always loved, being outside.

Fast forward a decade to where I stand today – I’ve worked with dolphins, pet a wolf, dived with sharks and have seen polar bears in the wild. And while I may not have the official title of "Marine Biologist,", saying yes to that letter I held so tightly in my hands has led to some pretty amazing experiences and opportunities doing what I love.

Heritage Education Funds Heritage Heroes

Yes, there have been some bumps and road blocks along the way. I would be lying if I said there weren’t. But, I powered through them. And, if it weren't for the hard work I put in (literally blood, sweat and tears when field work is involved) and my parents investing in my future through an RESP, who knows where I would be today.

Heritage RESPs has a goal to make college and university affordable for every child. Now, in celebration of Canada's 150th, they're launching the Heritage Heroes Campaign, which will be a series of in-depth coast-to-coast features sharing the stories of those that have used a Heritage RESP to kick-start their careers without being mired in student debt. The features will showcase what these grads have accomplished so far in their field of practice/study and community, what they hope to achieve in the future and how RESPs have given them a leg up. Stay tuned!

Heritage Education Funds Heritage Heroes

What's your story? How did you get to where you are today? I'd love to hear!

*Disclosure: As a Heritage Ambassador, I received compensation in exchange for this post. However, all opinions and advice shared are 100% my own. Thank you Heritage!