Apple picking

It’s Apple Picking Time in Georgia – Things To Do Around West Cobb

As the days begin to get shorter and the air becomes a little crisper, it is a sure sign that fall cannot be far away and that it’s apple picking time in Georgia. And with it come lots of things to do around our area. One popular weekend excursion is to the Georgia mountains for apple picking in Gilmer County – Georgia’s Apple Capital. With over ten apple orchards and more than 20 varieties of apples, visitors have lots of options. Named Apple Orchard Alley, there are 8 apple houses on Georgia Highway 52 East just outside of Ellijay, GA offering items such as fried apple pies, apple funnel cake, apple cider, apple milk shake and more.  Some have petting farms, hayrides, and entertainment. A map of the orchards is available from the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce.

Annual Georgia Apple Festival

One of the highlights of apple season is the Annual Georgia Apple Festival. The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County are the organizers of this year’s event offering over 300 vendors with handmade items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. See below for information on some the different varieties of apples you may find.

Apple Picking

The following is a list of area orchards offering u-pick apples. Please check the individual websites for information about pricing, additional activities, exact dates and times, as well as any other information you might need.

Considering a Mountain Home?

Apple Varieties in North Georgia

Before you go, here is some information about the apples.* So make a list and enjoy!

Arkansas Black

Arkansas Black

Arkansas Black apples are generally medium sized with a somewhat flattened shape. Often very dark red on the tree, these apples grow darker as they ripen, becoming a very dark red or burgundy color. Continuing the trend, the skin continues to darken in storage; Arkansas Black is one of the darkest of all apple cultivars, hence the name.

Available:  late
Flavor:  tart
Use:  eating

Braeburn

Braeburn

The Braeburn is firm to the touch with a red/orange vertical streaky appearance on a yellow/green background. Its color intensity varies with different growing conditions. They are known to have a burst of flavor when bitten. Braeburn apples have a unique combination of sweet and tart flavour. They are available October through April in the northern hemisphere and are medium to large in size. They are a popular fruit for growers because of their ability to store well when chilled.  Braeburn apples are useful in cooking in that they hold their shape and do not release a great deal of liquid making them ideal for tarts.

Available:  late
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Detroit

Detroit

From its name, you might think that this variety originates in Detroit. But it originated in Georgia. A classic, deep red apple, it has a soft, snow white flesh. Detroit apple fans have described it as having flesh that is light, crisp, sweet, and tart all at the same time.

Available:  early
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking

Empire

Empire

Empire is the name of the apple variety that was released to the public at the New York Fruit Testing Association meetings in Geneva, and since New York is the Empire state, the apple continues that theme.

Available:  early
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking

Fuji

Fuji

The Fuji apple is an apple hybrid developed by growers at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan, in the late 1930s, and brought to market in 1962. It originated as a cross between two American apple varieties — the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet (sometimes cited as “Rawls Jennet”) apples. Contrary to popular opinion, it is named for Fujisaki town (the location of Tohuku Research Station), not for Mount Fuji.

Available:  late
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  cooking/eating

Gala

Gala

Gala is a clonally propagated apple with a mild and sweet flavor. Gala apples ranked at number 2 in 2006 on the US Apple Association’s list of most popular apples, after Red Delicious and before Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold is one of the earliest commercial apple varieties to ripen, starting in August on the east coast (mid-July in North Carolina) and July in California. The fruit is large, conical and starts out a very pale green, though if left on the tree will ripen to a soft yellow with a slightly waxy appearance.

The primary use is for eating out of hand, though it can be used for most other purposes. The flesh, of a cream color, resists browning more than most varieties. The flavor is mild but with a tart finish. Makes excellent apple pies.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Gold Rush

Gold Rush

Like a fine wine, Gold Rush apple flavor gets better over time and is one of the best keeping apples ever. They retain their crisp texture  also. These apples offer a great alternative for pies and cider.

Available:  mid
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

This apple is a chance seedling possibly a hybrid of Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette.  The original tree was found on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, West Virginia, United States and was locally known as Mullin’s Yellow Seedling and Annit apple. Anderson Mullins sold the tree and propagation rights to Stark Brothers Nurseries, which first marketed it as a companion of their Red Delicious in 1914. The Golden Delicious is an apple with a yellow color. It is not closely related to the Red Delicious apple. Golden Delicious is a large, yellowish-green skinned cultivar and very sweet to the taste. It is prone to bruising and shriveling, so it needs careful handling and storage. It is a favorite for salads, apple sauce, and apple butter.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  cooking/eating

Granny Smith

Granny Smith

The Granny Smith green apple is a tip-bearing apple variety, which originated in Australia in 1868. It is named after Maria Ann Smith, who propagated this apple selection from a chance seedling. The tree is thought to be a hybrid of Malus sylvestris, the European Wild Apple, with the domestic apple M. domestica as the polleniser. The fruit has hard, light green skin and a crisp, juicy flesh.

Granny Smiths go from being yellow to turning completely green. The acidity mellows significantly, and it then takes on a balanced flavour. These are great to use for caramel and candy apples since the tart and sweet offer great flavor combinations.

Available:  mid-late
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking/eating

Honey Crisp

Honey Crisp

Honeycrisp (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’) is an apple variety developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station’s Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The Honeycrisp, once slated to be discarded, has rapidly become a prized commercial commodity, as its sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it an ideal apple for eating raw.

In 2006, Andersen Elementary School in Bayport petitioned for the Minnesota state legislature to make the Honeycrisp apple the state fruit; the bill was passed in May 2006.

Available:  mid
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Jonagold

Jonagold

Jonagold is a variety of apple which was developed in 1953 in New York, a cross between the crisp Golden Delicious and the blush-crimsonJonathan. They form a large sweet fruit with a thin skin. Jonagold has a green-yellow basic color with crimson, brindled covering colour.

The Jonagold apple is juicy and aromatic and has a sweet-sour taste. The skin can also turn out fully red or green other than Golden-Red.

Available:  mid
Flavor:  sweet/tart
Use:  cooking/eating

Jonathon

Jonathon

The Jonathan apple is a medium-sized sweet apple, with a strong touch of acid and a tough but smooth skin.

Available:  early
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking

Mutsu

Mutsu

The Mutsu  apple (also known as Crispin) was introduced in 1948 and is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Indo applevarieties first grown in Japan, and named after the Mutsu Province of Japan, where it was presumably first grown.

Available:  mid-late
Flavor:  sweet/tart
Use:  cooking/eating

Ozark Gold

Ozark Gold

This apple has an extremely fine smooth, attractive, often blushed finish and a early ripening season. Ozark Gold is an early yellow or light green apple, ripening in late August. It has a pink blush offering a flavor is mild and juicy with some tartness at the beginning of its season, but has a taste with notes of honey. When properly matured, flavor improves greatly. This apple is great for fresh eating and processing (sauces, pies, baking) and can be stored 2 months.

Available:  early
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking

Pink Lady Brand

Pink Lady Brand

Pink Lady is a variety of apple, from which apples meeting quality standards can be sold under the trade mark name Pink Lady. The Pink Lady variety was originally bred by John Cripps at the (then named) Western Australia Department of Agriculture by crossing the Australian apple Lady Williams with a Golden Delicious in order to combine the best features of both apples.

Available:  late
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Pristine

Pristine

An early season apple, the Pristine apple is yellow with smooth, glossy skin. Fruit is high in sugar content with very good keeping quality for an early season apple.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Red

Red Delicious

The Red Delicious is a clone of apple cultigen, now comprising more than 50 varieties, that was recognized in Madison County, Iowa, United States, in 1880.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Rome Beauty

Rome Beauty

The Rome apple (also known as Red Rome or Rome Beauty) is a cooking apple originating near Rome Township, Ohio in the early 19th century. It remains popular for its glossy red fruit and for its utility in cooking.

The Rome apple is rounded, all red, and very glossy, with a thick skin and firm flesh. It is primarily used for baking, as its flavor develops when cooked, and it holds its shape well. It is commonly described as less desirable as an eating apple because of its subtle flavor that is not as sweet, flashy or tart as some other varieties, yet it is the favorite eating apple of many. It comes to market in late September and is considered a good keeper.

Available:  mid-late
Flavor:  slightly tart
Use:  cooking/eating

Swiss Gourmet

Swiss Gourmet

Swiss Gourmet are medium-sized, slightly conical apples with waxy skin. There is often some russetting at the bottom. Inside, they have firm, crisp flesh. The mild taste is a balance of sweet and tart, with the tart more dominant.

Available:  early
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

Wine Sap

Wine Sap

Stayman (or Stayman’s Winesap) is a triploid apple variety developed in 1866 by Joseph Stayman of Leavenworth, KS; sold by nurseries from 1895. There are two other varieties of Stayman apples; one is green, the other yellow. Staymans remain a locally popular cultivar of apple where grown.

Stayman is a medium-sized, roundish-conic apple with a thick greenish-yellow skin covered almost entirely with a deep red blush, darker red stripes and russet dots. Firm, tender, finely-textured juicy, crisp yellowish-green flesh is tart and spicy. Staymans keep very well. They are used primarily as a dessert apple, but also make a fine addition to blended cider.

Available:  mid-late
Flavor:  tart
Use:  cooking/eating

Yates

Yates

A late season apple, these are a smaller size apple.

Available:  late
Flavor:  sweet
Use:  eating

And when you get back, don’t forget to share your pictures and recipes!

*Information about apples was obtained from the following sources:

 

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