As soon as the leaves begin to change, even ever so slightly, so does my weekly menu. When the shades of green turn to red and orange, my refrigerator, once full of peaches, quickly becomes home to all things apple. Taking a trip to a local apple orchard is my favorite way to fill my fridge and welcome fall.
Bauer’s Apple Shed is a charming family owned orchard perfect for that first fall outing. Located in Hortonville just a few short miles from the Fox River Mall, it’s the perfect location for an afternoon trip from just about anywhere in the Fox Valley. We went on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon. We parked right in front and headed into the namesake apple shed.
We were greeted by the orchard owner Dick Bauer, friendly staff, and orchard mascot, golden retriever, Nemo. The store offered a variety of pre-picked bags of apples along with local honey, jams, and other apple delights. We were meeting a few friends, and while we waited, we chatted with the staff and got to pet Nemo. Our friends brought their young children and were welcomed with open arms by both the proprietors and pet of the orchard.
When it was time to head off and pick our apples, we were each given a basket to fill. The little ones were given their own pint size baskets to help with the picking too! With baskets in hand, we received a brief tour of the orchard and instructions on how and what to pick.
The first trees in the orchard were originally planted in 1972. There are now over 300 trees on the property. Cortland and Spartan apples were available to pick that day, but the orchard is home to fifteen different varieties. The people at Bauer’s know what they are doing. They direct their guests to the best of their crop and give each apple variety the time it needs to ripen. Beautiful and delicious apples were not hard to find.
After gathering all of our apples, our group headed over to the pumpkin patch. Here we got to harvest our own pumpkins. The orchard provides guests with large branch trimmers to cut the pumpkins right off the vine. We filled our wagon full.
That afternoon, we tasted and picked our way through the orchard. Along with the pumpkins, we left with a bag of Cortlands that we picked ourselves and a pre-picked bag of Honeycrips. Both varieties are sweet and crisp. While absolutely perfect on their own, the true treat was making them into a quick and easy apple crumble. This delicious dessert was the perfect way to end a beautiful fall adventure.
* Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for Bauer’s, the Apple Shed has sold out of all apples for the season. Please consider giving them a visit during the fall of 2022!