FOOD: Bayfield Apples - take your pickBayfield is famous for Applefest, held the first weekend in October, but you don’t have to wait until then to participate in the ultimate apple experience.
There is nothing better than spending a crisp fall day wandering through an apple orchard, reaping the fruits of the season. And, there’s quite possibly no better place to do that than in Bayfield. Bayfield is famous for Applefest, held the first weekend in October, but you don’t have to wait until then to participate in the ultimate apple experience.
Bayfield is home to several orchards that offer pick-your-own opportunities where you and your friends and family are given a basket and a picker and are set loose out into the orchards to choose your harvest.
It is easy to make a day of apple picking on the Bayfield peninsula. Start with a visit to the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and pick up a map or visit the chamber’s Web site at www.bayfield.org for a list of the orchards that are all a short drive from town. You should give into the temptation to stop in at The Candy Shoppe on Rittenhouse Avenue for a homemade carmel roll or wine bread to give you sustenance before you start picking. The aromas alone in this shop are worth the visit, but you won’t be able to resist tasting. Then it’s off to orchard country to burn off those calories.
If you are looking for a particular type of apple, maybe Cortlands, Firesides or Honeycrisp, you can tailor your stops to get just the taste you are craving, as most orchards publish what variety is at its peak the days you choose to pick. Again, check out www.bayfield.org and click on the Apple Update or log on to individual orchards’ Web sites.
You can climb a three-legged ladder and slide your apples into a bag on your shoulder or you can reach up and fill a box on the ground. Either way, a pile of shiny red apples is irresistible and totally picture worthy.
Picking is easy and accessible for both children and seniors, but if you want to take the easy way out, all the orchards are happy to sell you their already-harvested product.
But don’t stop with just apples. Try the apple jams, jellies, butters, mustards and, of course, apple wines. Each orchard has its own specialities and almost always, samples are available. Many also have dried flowers, artesan cheeses and crafts for sale, so a walk through a barn or an orchard store is a feast for all the senses.
Get a jump start on Applefest, or wait until the crowds leave town after the festival, and spend the day in apple orchard country. And relive your perfect day every time you bite into a Bayfield apple.