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Lawrence Orchards {Pick Your Own Farm Profile}

I was devastated when I found out that Windy Hill Farm, home of Charlie's apples, has no fruit this year. Other sustainable eaters in Columbus were sad apples too.

lawrence orchards marion oh apple variety at lawrence orchards
Thanks to tips from two blog readers, I found the next best thing to Charlie's at Lawrence Orchards in Marion Ohio.

Lawrence grows over 20 varieties of apples. They provide wagons, bags, maps, and descriptions at their farm market to help you find your favorites.

picking enterprize apples at lawrence

The picking is not particularly easy because the trees are a bit overgrown. Apples are plentiful and there are nicely mowed lanes between each row. Between Alex, Lil, and myself, we were able to fill six half bushel bags in about an hour.

The staff person I asked confirmed that the owner sprays as little as possible and avoids chemical applications near harvest time.

low chemical appleThe condition of the apples confirmed that they are not subject to many pesticides. Fans of Charlie's will recognize the harmless black webs and brown raised bumps as the signs of insects that have moved on. I liken these surface spots to beauty marks - they make the fruit interesting and no less delicious.

U-pick half bushel bags are a steal at only $9 each. A large pre-picked selection is available in the store for twice the price but smaller quantities if you need it.

Lawrence Orchards makes unpasteurized cider, cider vinegar, and homemade apple butter for sale in their farm store. A selection of seasonal decor and treats including homegrown pumpkins are available.

Local Waldo honey is raised on the farm. Visitors can enjoy an observation hive in the farm store and purchase the honey and pollen products.

observation hive at lawrence orchardscorn and mazemini horse at lawrence apple orchard
The farm includes just the right amount of agri-tainment with a corn bin, small hay bale maze, pony and goats for petting, and photo opportunities. They advertise an Applefest annually with additional activities such as live music, face painting, and a recipe contest.

The Lawrence Orchards website is updated weekly with the picking varieties. Their facebook page is active as well.

Today we scoured cameo trees for the last of those  sweet and crisp eating apples and picked ida red, enterprize, and golden delicious for cider. I'll be back for gold rush, the best all-around keeping variety, in a few weeks.

apple cart with three bushelspushing apple cart
If you go:

  • The orchard is open Monday - Saturday from 9 am - 6 pm.
  • Expect a one hour drive from central Columbus.
  • Start in the store where you will be given bags and a map of what's available.
  • Know that they accept cash, credit, or checks.
  • Consider bringing lunch and picnicking at nearby Delaware State Park - there are only snack foods available in the store.

Lawrence Orchards 2634 Smeltzer Rd. Marion, Ohio 43302 740-389-3019 apple@lawrenceorchards.com