Local farms and orchards in Northern Westchester and lower Putnam County are the perfect place for fall fun.
Whether you want to get your hands dirty and pick your own vegetables—and apples and pumpkins, popular and plentiful in October—or stock up on fresh, homemade favorites like jams and baked goods, there's plenty to choose from.
We've included local "destination" farm stands with U-Pick and seasonal activities as hayrides and live music. Don't have time to head out to one of these nearby farms? Check out our Patch directory of local nurseries—many offer pumpkins, seasonal flowers and home decor. And check out local farmer's markets, too!
Take a step back in time when you go apple and pumpkin picking this season. The Stuart family has been farming since 1828; the original farmhouse was built around 1760. Owner Betsy Stuart, who describes her farm as "the friendliest" gives tours and has been known to show off her old apple-grating machine. Stuart's also does birthday parties.
Apple picking starts and pumpkin picking are available from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. from September to November, at 62 Granite Springs Rd., 914. 245.2784.
At Wilkens Farm, parking and a hayride are included into the picking price. The hayride takes visitors to the orchards on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (you can walk during the week) where you can use an apple-picking pole to reach the tops of the trees—with hilltop views of mountains and the Hudson River. A wide variety of apples are available for u-pick through Oct. 14 (see full list here) and pumpkin picking is in full-swing through the end of the month.
The farm is open daily starting late August through mid-December from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and is located at 1335 White Hill Rd., Yorktown Heights, 914.245.5111.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard is a family-owned business in North Salem (some locals may remember it as Outhouse Orchards). They carry a variety of local honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, local dairy products, and own grass-fed beef, maple syrup, cider doughnuts, fresh baked pies, homemade fudge and Green Mountain Coffee. Each weekend through Halloween they host a "fall festival," including live music, hayrides, pony rides, bouncy castles and more.
They're open 7 days a week. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, 914-485-1210.
Salingers Orchard Farm Market
Unlike many seasonal locations, Salinger's is open year-round. Owners Bruce and Maureen Salinger are almost always present and are happy to assist all of their customers with their produce or bakery items whether they stop in daily, weekly, monthly or annually.
Open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year-round, Salingers Orchard, 230 Guinea Roa, Brewster, 845-277-3521.
Muscoot Pumpkin Pickin'
The farm is hosting a "Pumpkin Pickin’" event Sunday and Monday of Columbus Day Weekend. Families are invited to come and pick the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween, or to use as a fall decoration. Participants have a choice of taking a hayride out back to our pumpkin patch for a small fee of $2 per person, or walking down to our vegetable garden and picking their pumpkin there. The cost of the pumpkins varies, depending on their size. The following two weekends at Muscoot also celebrate fall; visit their website to learn more about the Autumn Celebration and Boo Walk.
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, 51 Route 100, Katonah, 914.864.7282.
Hilltop Hanover Farm
Food shopping will never be the same after a visit to Hilltop Hanover Farm. Chose your favorite produce from the farm stand or pick it yourself in the crop fields to see how your favorite vegetables are grown. In addition to pumpkins, produce available this week includes eggplant, peppers for U-pick, and at the farmstand: kale, broccoli, turnips, radishes, arugula, tatsoi, beets, carrots, celeriac, peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, leeks, swiss chard, onions, pumpkins, shallots, endive, escarole, lettuce.
The farm stand is open Fridays from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hilltop is at 1271 Hanover St., Yorktown Heights, 914.-962.2368.
Outhouse Orchards, Croton Falls, 139 Hardscrable Road: Family-owned, the compound includes hay rides and a corn maze. (914) 277-3188
Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction, 9 Fishkill Farm Road: The farm's 40 acres also house apples, peaches and cherries, in season. (845) 897-4377
The Orchards of Concklin, Pomona, 2 South Mountain Road: The sprawling farm, just a 20-minute drive north from the Tappan Zee Bridge, also features a bakery stocked with home-made goods. (845) 354-0369
Applewood Orchards and Winery, Warwick, 82 4 Corners Road: Applewood, which also serves up the eponymous apples, has a pumpkin patch open on the weekends. (845) 986-1684
What to do with your apple bounty?
"Wilkens Hot Spiced Cider"
1 Gal. Wilkens Apple Cider
2 Tblsp Honey
1 Tblsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in pan. Heat to low simmer.
Stuart's "Apple Brown Betty"
Slice four cups of apples (Stuart uses Cortland apples, but use anything except red delicious) into a buttered baking dish.
Put ½ cup of water on top.
Topping mix: One stick of softened butter, 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup of flower, 3 tablespoons of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Mix with butter mixture until crumbly.
Add mixture on top of apples and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Stuart recommends serving it with vanilla ice cream or whip cream, either hot or cold.