Looking for a chance to get out and reconnect with Mother Nature a little before the first frost hits? Maybe you just want something different and cool to do with the kids this weekend — or somewhere quirky and romantic to go on a date.
Whatever the reason, it’s the perfect time to head out to the farm and do a little harvesting! Grab your sweaters, put on your walking boots, pile everybody in the car and get moving: Any one of the following pick-your-own produce farms can be the perfect weekend destination.
Waterman’s Family Farm – Indianapolis
Did somebody mention pumpkins? No? Well, given that Halloween is soon upon us, it won’t be long before the Great Pumpkin starts hunting for the perfect pumpkin patch to hide in — and that might be out at Waterman’s.
Go for the pumpkin patch, stay for the cornfield maze, the hayride and all the goodies at their food kiosk. You’ll find fresh apple cider, delicious homemade cookies and caramel apples (among other treats).
Driving Wind Berry Farm – Indianapolis
Local to the area, family-owned and pesticide-free produce: What more can you want? (If the answer is, “Free hayrides!” they have those, too — along with a ton of other things families can do.)
At Driving Wind, you’ll find strawberries, blueberries and blackberries here in abundance and ready to be picked and priced by the pound. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their store. The berry toppings, preserves and jams they sell are all Kosher certified, gluten-free and vegan. You’ll also find a supply of local honey, hand-crafted soaps and candles (and it’s not too early to start stocking up on holiday gifts).
Stuckey Farm, Orchard and Cider Mill – Sheridan
Stuckey’s has earned a perpetual spot on lists like these — for good reason. Stuckey’s isn’t just a working orchard and cider mill, it’s an experience.
At Stuckey’s, you’ll find 37 varieties of u-pick apples and tons of plump pumpkins that are just waiting to be turned into Jack-o-Lanterns by your kids! From mid-September through October, their Harvest Festival weekends are all centered around unique themes, and your ticket buys you all-day admission to things like wagon rides, an 8-acre corn maze, pig races, apple cannons and mega slides. This is one of the most amazing places you can visit during the harvest season.
Berry Best Farm – Nabb
Located in Clark County, this is another family-owned farm that’s become a local landmark. For more than 30 years, Berry Best has been producing a huge variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers on 25 acres of land.
While they certainly have a huge variety of other fruits and vegetables available, their u-pick options include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas and squash — depending on what’s in season.
Tuttle Orchards and Farm – Greenfield
Tuttle Orchards claims to be Indiana’s favorite farm — and it may very well be! For more than 90 years, Tuttle’s has been provided a revolving array of u-pick options. It also boasts a cafe with locally sourced food items and a grocery store with gourmet treats, fresh produce, artisanal honey, local meats and lovely gift items.
Right now, it’s apple picking season (with pumpkin picking to soon follow), but no trip to Tuttle’s would be complete without a box of their fresh-made apple donuts to take home and maybe a jug of their all-natural apple cider to go with it. This is a place you’ll definitely want to visit again and again.
Anderson Orchard – Mooresville
Anderson Orchard is a well-known family destination in Morgan County, with more than 100 acres to explore. You’ll find apples, raspberries, blue plums, pumpkins and chestnuts for the picking (according to their seasons), and their Apple Barn is stuffed full of all kinds of local produce for sale.
Don’t overlook the concession stand, either, while you’re there. That’s where you’ll find caramel apples, caramel apple fondue, deep-fried biscuits, fresh apple butter, fried apple pies and elephant ears.
Goebel Farms – Evansville
For three generations, the Goebel family has been raising everything from corn and wheat to pumpkins and Christmas trees.
Aside from picking pumpkins or picking out a Christmas tree at Goebel’s, your kids will love the petting zoo, the corn maze, and the indoor playground that fills the 100-year-old barn on the property. In the fall, hayrides and educational tours are also available.
Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards – Goshen
If you’re passionate about supporting locally-owned businesses, you’ll love Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards. Kercher’s has been family-owned and farmed since 1922, and they’re not slowing down any time soon.
Galas, Jonathans, Granny Smiths and more — you’ll find both old-fashioned varieties right alongside their more commercially popular cousins. Even better: The staff at Kercher’s are apple experts. If you don’t know which apples make the best pies and which make the best cider, they’ll happily educate you on the difference.
Phil’s U-Pick Apple Orchard – Huntington
Apples are literally everywhere at Phil’s! With more than 36 varieties of apples, including Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and McIntosh, you won’t be disappointed with the selection. There’s also a u-pick pumpkin patch and a ton of other vegetables available.
Before you leave, make sure that you grab a gallon of the best apple cider you can find in the area so that you can enjoy it during these crisp, cold days to come.
Nothing says “autumn charm” quite like a basket of freshly-picked produce for your table. Better still, you get to spend some quality time with the people you love, doing something that will help you appreciate the wonders of nature and all the goodness that life has to offer.