One of the many perks of living in New York is having access to excellent apples. Now that it's apple picking season, I thought I'd promote one pick-your-own spot that we've gone back to two years in a row: Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in North Salem, NY. Kudos to the guy who renamed this place, which was previously referred to as the Outhouse Orchard. You'll still see signs with the old name on the way there. No joke.

For me, Harvest Moon is the perfect size for an orchard. Not too small that you'll run out of good apples, and not too big that you'll get overwhelmed. You can take home an overflowing bag (1/2 a bushel) for $25.

The variety is pretty solid, too. At any given time, you should be able to have at least 4 different varieties of apples to choose from. We went this past weekend and took home a heaping bag of Macintosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and a fourth variety whose name we couldn't confirm.

Of course, apple picking isn't complete without tasty cider doughnuts. Deep fried and then sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, or both, you'll probably want at least half a dozen just for yourself. Get them and don't feel guilty about it. You don't have it every day.

The country, laid back vibe at Harvest Moon is great for relaxing, enjoying the fall weather, and giving your kids a fun experience. There are smoked turkey legs, hay rides, a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch, a wood fired pizza oven, a live band that plays some pretty good covers (including Johnny Cash and Grateful Dead), and, of course, a bouncy castle (age 3 to 10). Sorry adults.

North Salem is in upper Westchester, which makes Harvest Moon a very doable day trip (about an hour from the city). If you plan a visit, check out their apple page to see what you can pick that weekend. I'd love to hear your suggestions for pick-your-own places or apple recipes. This week, I made a roasted pork loin with sliced golden delicious apples, balsamic vinegar, and a bunch of seasonings!


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