Mommy Minute: Try apple, pumpkin picking for outdoor fall family fun


Cathy Malloy has been going to Strites Orchard her whole life.

“I actually grew up here,” she said. “And then I brought my kids here. We picked apples and pumpkins and strawberries and everything they had available to pick.”

On a beautiful sunny September day, she brought two young adults from the Vista School, which helps people with autism.

strites8“They’re teaching us as well as we’re showing them what else is out here in job opportunities,” Malloy said.

“I think the biggest joy of picking apples is you get to eat while you pick,” said owner Jon Strite. “There’s nothing better than a fresh-picked apple because the crunch is there. It’s a pretty fun experience.”

In fact, Strite said the “You Pick” experience has gotten so popular, they are now opening on Sundays for the first time in the farm’s 100 year history.

strites2“I think in the fall it’s more of a family tradition now,” Strite said.

The hot weather this past summer will mean greener apples, but Strite said the dry weather will also mean sweeter apples.

“The looks will be deceiving because they’ll be a little bit greener, but actually be sweeter than they would be in a normal year,” Strite said.

strites7Malloy said visits to Strites are always a sweet, hands-on learning experience.

“It’s so much better than when you go to the grocery store and pick it up because you know you picked that apple, you went to the orchard, you reached up into the tree and got it,” Malloy said.

The apple and pumpkin picking season at Strites usually lasts through Halloween. This year they also have a corn maze for kids.

strites1For more information, visit

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