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Apple Hill Orchards, Mansfield Ohio {Pick Your Own Farm}

apple hill orchard barn lexington ohioI wanted fresh Ohio fruit last Monday though none was ripe in the backyard. With the company of two young girls and a few hours to spare, I trekked to a new-to-me orchard, Apple Hill, near Mansfield Ohio. We made a spontaneous stop at a beautiful park in Lexington, Ohio. The Bicentennial Park has play spaces for children of all ages, several picnic shelters, swings, shady areas, and tennis courts. The girls enjoyed playing and picnicking before the five minute drive to the farm.

Ample signage and a helpful employee directed us to Flaming Fury and Contender peach and Paula Red and Ginger Gold apple trees. Bags were available, though we chose to reuse boxes from previous picking excursions.

The fields are spacious and mowed. All was quiet on a Monday afternoon except for the roar of race cars from Mid-Ohio School once in awhile.

apple trees at apple hill orchard mansfield ohiopeaches dripping from tree pick your own

The peach and apple trees were very well pruned and easy to pick without climbing. In less than an hour of work, I picked a bushel of peaches and half bushel of apples. The girls' 'help' was fairly limited to tasting the fruit.

The Contender variety tastes like the perfect fresh peach. The juicy thick flesh falls off the pit and peels easily, making me wish I waited for Contenders for my peach canning marathon. The Apple Hill weekly update says they are still picking Contenders and I urge you to go soon if you want a delightful Ohio peach.

I am unsure of the chemical practices at Apple Hill. I saw several mating interceptor devices, a natural way to control insects. The apples had a bit of visible spray residue. There was ample wildlife in the field, a good sign that the farm is being managed with concern for a wide variety of species.

apple hill orchard chalkboard ohioapple hill orchard store cider ohio

Apple Hill's prices are incredibly reasonable at $15-17 per half bushel depending on the fruit variety. Their cute store also offers cider in season (advertised on their website as available soon), home baked goods, and pre-picked produce.

Apple Hill advertises that nectarines, pears, and several more varieties of apples are now available. I need to plan a return trip!

Date of Visit: August 23, 2011

Apple Hill Orchards 1175 Lex-Ontario Road Mansfield, OH 44903

Open August through Thanksgiving 9am to 6pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm to 6pm on Sunday

(419) 884-1500 or Toll Free (888) APPLE50 (277-5350)

 

Hounds in the Kitchen pick-your-own farm profiles: Branstool Orchards Charlie's Apples at Windy Hill (no apples for 2011 season, boo) Schacht Family Farm