In the warm summer months you can always find me enjoying the outdoors, but as soon as September hits, my weekend adventures turn into a quest to find the perfect apple cider donut with my friends and family; and trust me, I’ve had the opportunity to try many.
As an avid lover of supporting local businesses, I thought it would be advantageous to center this month’s blog post around my favorite local farms and orchards to visit this fall so that you can join me in enjoying the gorgeous outdoor spaces, apple cider donuts and wonderful time spent with loved ones. Keep reading to discover my local favorites, and let me know if there are any other local orchards I should visit on my next weekend day trip!
Originally purchased by John and Rachel Webster back in 1941, Highland Orchards, which is located between Downingtown and West Chester in West Bradford Township, continued to be passed down to the generations of Webster descendants over the next 45 years expanding the business to include peaches, farm tours, hayrides, and even manufactured housing on a piece of land called Appleville. By 1986, the grandsons of the original owners purchased Highland Orchards, and have continued to make updates and improvements since. Visitors to the orchard have many different opportunities to enjoy their time whether it be spent exploring The Farm Market and Bakery, which features fresh fruit grown at the orchard, pies and apple cider donuts, and apple cider, or exploring the area on a hayride with an orchard expert. Highland Orchards by far has my favorite apple cider donuts, but they are totally guilt free because you can walk off all of the calories at nearby Stroud Preserve. Last but not least, visitors can choose the “pick your own” option and spend time in the orchards picking the fruit of the season to bring home.
Conveniently located at the center of Montgomery County, Merrymead Farm is considered one of Pennsylvania’s Century farms since it has been family owned and operated for over 100 years by the Rothenberger Family. Visitors of Merrymead truly get a full farm experience at this multi seasonal farm, which includes seasonal fresh produce, local honey, tasty baked goods, and even homemade ice cream. The farm’s ice cream and ice cream cakes, which can be made to order, are made possible by their award-winning milk from their dairy cows on the property. Fall visitors can experience everything from fun hayrides around the property, shopping for seasonal decor, purchasing locally grown apples, and sampling apple cider donuts made daily in the bakery. In addition to the other mentioned activities, visitors can also book tours to spend time with the many animals that call Merrymead Farm home.
The 300 acres known as Linvilla Orchards is dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education for families and visitors in the Delaware Valley. At Linvilla Orchards, there is something fun for everyone to enjoy including hayrides around the farm, a “pick your own” experience, which includes apples, peaches, pears, grapes, and raspberries, visiting the barnyard animals like birds, horses, and goats, or even fishing on the lake. Visitors looking to explore the large farm market can purchase everything from locally grown produce to fresh baked goods and even homemade candy/caramel apples for those with a sweet tooth.
Located in central Bucks County, Solebury Orchards is a beautiful 80 acre working orchard that grows a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables for visitors to enjoy. Most visitors choose the “pick your own” option for exploring the orchard to get the most out of their visit. Currently the two in-season options for this experience are cherry tomatoes and apples, but the various crops and orchards can be visited mid-June through early-November for other seasonal fruits like blueberries, cherries, and blackberries just to name a few. Solebury Orchards also boasts an extensive farmer’s market where visitors can purchase cherries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, and apples. They also have homemade applesauce, apple cider and apple juice to purchase.
Tabora Farms & Orchard
Last but certainly not least is the oldest farm on the list, Tabora Farm, located in Chalfont, PA. Tabora has been a working farm since the 1700s; however, the business was acquired by a local family 20 years ago and transformed into a farmers market and experience for visitors. Back in 2008, it was sold to The Torrice Family, who have continued to grow the orchards and add a retail store to the various spaces you can visit on the farm. When visiting Tobora, you can choose to stop by their bakery with fresh made pies, cakes, pastries made daily, including their well-known apple dumplings, or you can visit the deli for a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. After visitors have enjoyed the tasty treats in the bakery and deli, they can enjoy the beautiful sunflower fields. If you decide to visit Tabora, I recommend the lemon meringue pie, which was too large to even fit in the box, and so delicious.
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