It’s Apple Pickin’ Time!

It’s autumn, a magical season for New England…falling leaves, pumpkins, and apple cider…oh my!   Take a “Farmgirl road trip” with me, the Suburban Farmgirl,  and head to a special local farm for some fresh apple pickin’!


Harvest season makes many folks think of apples, and picking them is a favorite family activity. In Connecticut,  Silverman’s Farm is  well-known with all ages. Located in the picturesque town of Easton, this farm is a fun place we love to visit several times a year.  Owned and run by Irv and Nancy Silverman, Silverman’s is a true bit of Americana.

Irv Silverman at Silverman’s Farm, Easton, CT

Irv’s father, Benjamin Silverman, started the farm in the 1920’s, “when there were no box stores”.  Irv says back then folks relied on farm stands instead of grocery stores, and “would freeze and can their fruits and vegetables”.  Through the years, the farm evolved into the wonderful family fun destination it is today, that Irv calls “agri-tourism”. There’s always a friendly face at the entrance, offering tractor rides to the ripe-for-picking trees, as well as  instruction on how to pick fruit so as to not harm the tree. We’ve learned that to pick an apple, you never pull at the fruit, but gently “twist” it, releasing it from the tree.

Megan from Silverman’s gives a quick lesson on choosing apples ready for picking.

Macintosh and Cortland apples were in season on our early September picking.

It’s really picturesque on top of the hill at the Orchard.

It’s always interesting to see where everyone sharing the the tractor ride is from! The whole process of being outdoors and picking fruit creates such happy memories.  Irv says he “loves seeing how excited children get from seeing an apple growing on a tree for the first time, as opposed to only seeing it in a grocery store box.”

Apple picking with my niece from Denmark, 2011

Picking apples is a fun family activity.  Last excursion, we shared a tractor ride with the Devita/Goldsteins from Fairfield and Newtown, CT.  

Officially a fruit farm, Silverman’s farm is 95% pick-your-own, with fifty acres and 15,000 trees.  For apples, there’s eighteen different varieties, each one with a different picking time. Peaches are available in the summer, as well.  I love to pick a bag of peaches, having some for snacks, and making others into jam.  Silverman’s has both “traditional” peaches as well as the “donut” variety.

Summer peaches made into jam that we will enjoy all winter.

Next year, Irv says the farm will add pick-your-own blueberries, as well. Our family picks several bags of apples throughout the season.  Apple harvesting starts in late July, depending on the variety, but my favorite time for apple picking  is in the crisp air, when  fall is grabbing at Mother Nature’s apron strings.  We love to snack on them, make apple sauce, and cook them in different “fall” recipes.  What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Can you see the outline of a leaf “sun-printed” on this apple? Nature’s graffiti!

For as long as I can remember, my daughter and I have loved going to Silverman’s. She still loves visiting their petting zoo filled with friendly barnyard creatures.  There’s a small entrance fee for the zoo, and little paper cups are handed to visitors at the gate.  Inside, you’ll find large walking trails lined with beautiful weeping willows. Vintage, red, twenty-five cent candy dispensers found around the park contain cracked corn for feeding the animals.  There’s nothing sweeter than hearing the delighted squeals of a child  hand-feeding a gentle animal!  Often times, we’ll pack a picnic lunch and dine under the covered pavilion or a shady tree.  Open year round, the petting zoo is  large, with goats, fallow deer, emu,  exotic birds,  sheep, and more.  My personal favorite is the donkey!

Fallow deer, natural to Southern Europe

Silly animals mugging for the camera!

In addition, Silverman’s Farm also has  a florist, as well as a bakery and gift shop, all open year-round.  They’re known for their delicious fresh-baked pies, and one of my friends reports that their croissants are as good as ones she has eaten in Paris, France! We love their apple cider.  In the back of the store, is the wooden apple press, used from the 1940’s on, retired around seven years ago. (Parents of little ones will recognize it from “Elmo’s Halloween Adventure”, as the Sesame Street DVD was filmed at Silverman’s in 2004.  I remember the days when my daughter wanted to watch it over and over and over…)

The wooden apple press used for generations at Silverman’s.

We’ll probably visit another time or two to pick apples before the winter sets in and picking season is over until next year.  I love that picking apples is something all ages enjoy doing together out in the fresh, open air.  I always notice that when picking apples, I see families “unplugged”, something I don’t see many places anymore.  It’s hard to check email on a smartphone when riding on a hayride, or carrying a big bag of apples!  I also appreciate that I am supporting a family-owned, local farm. With a bag of apples, Silverman’s has helped us create a trunk full of treasured family memories!  Visit their website here:  http://www.silvermansfarm.com/index.html.

It’s time for me to pull the mason jars of applesauce out of the canner on the stove.  Hope you enjoyed our  “visit”…leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Apple pickin’ 2009

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  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Nicole! Oh I love apple pickin’ season in New England… We are fortunate to live in a place that looks like what so many can only imagine or travel to virtally… Your picks are darling… and how fun to have company all the way from Denmark! I’m ready to go get some apples now… thank you!
    your blogging sis from the beach!
    beach farmgirl Deb

    Hey Deb!  So true…I love the four seasons that New England offers!  Can’t wait until we have a real show of fall foliage! Hugs, Nicole

  2. Oh I have to get myself over to Silverman’s ASAP! I haven’t been there yet. My favorite way is to just eat apples out-of-hand, but I have to find a wonderful crock pot applesauce recipe that I used to make!

    Hi Ali, Don’t forget that our Farmgirl Sisterhood chapter has a trip to the orchard planned!  Hugs, Nicole

  3. bonnie ellis says:

    I really enjoyed your pictures. That place is beautiful. But most beautiful of all is the last picture of your daughter. She’s sweet.

    Awww…thank you so much, Bonnie.  I can’t get over how fast she is growing up!  Seems like just yesterday we were watching that Elmo video I mentioned, now she is a fifth grader.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  – Nicole

  4. Adrienne says:

    I love freshly-picked apples and my favorite way to serve them is sliced and dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s the wish for a sweet new year that prompted a trip to the local farmers market for Granny Smith apples and star thistle honey, a new honey I’d never tried before. Yum!

    Adrienne, I love different honey, too!  I just received a jar of "Huckleberry Honey" from a farmgirl in Montana.  So delicious!  I’ve never tried thistle honey, either…sounds good!  Thank you for reading and commenting!Nicole

  5. Patricia Swenson says:

    My first apple pie of the season just came out of the oven. Can’t wait to have a piece after supper tonight. Unfortunately, the apples are in short supply this year here in Minnesota due to a late frost and hail last Spring. Our favorite orchard thinks they will be out of apples by early October…so bummed!

    Mmmm!  Apple pie right out of the oven!  Smells so good baking and tastes so yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!  Now you’ve got me thinking apple pie!  Yum!  EnjoyHugs, Nicole

  6. rachelle says:

    Silverman’s Farm is my favorite place to visit. It brings back memories of family field trips and the smell of apples. They have the best pies in the market if you’re not up to baking your own.

    Hi Rachelle, I agree, their pies are delish…and my daughter loves their huge cookies, too.  Happy Fall! -Nicole

  7. CR LaGroue says:

    I really liked the blog…..wished we had a place like that down here in Texas…

    Thank you!  Apple picking is one our favorite seasonal things about this area.  -Nicole

  8. Joan says:

    LOVE orchards, I grew up on a farm that had it ALL!!! so apple picking was one of our chores. Not on the farm any more but one of our neighbors has a dwarf apple tree in his front yard – this year it was loaded. Not being a farmer, he had no idea that he picked them a bit too early. He shared them with another neighbor and myself, I am giving them a little table time to see if they may get riper – what ya think can they still ripen after being picked early – well still trying and then will make some goodies with them – going to share some back with the ‘apple neighbor’. Orchard’s aren’t they kind of mystical?

    I agree, Joan!  My daughter and I always giggle when we are there, because we always think of the apple tree scene from the movie Wizard of Oz!  As for the apples ripening after being picked, let me see if I can find that answer for you. Anyone out there know the answer? -Nicole

    Hi Joan, I asked Irv at Silverman’s your question.  He said that depending on the type of apple and how long it was left on the tree, they should ripen inside for you. 

  9. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, I want to go there asap! You made it sound like so much fun! Your pictures are so good and I love the animals. In 2009 picture of Audrey, she looks like she is holding a "magic apple".
    Love you,
    Mother

    We will definitely go next time you head here! – Nicole

  10. Mary Ann says:

    Nicole, it sounds wonderful, thanks for getting me into the fall spirit.

    Happy Fall, Mary Ann! -Nicole

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