Last weekend I went to da apple orchard vit da Norvegian exposure. AKA: the apple orchard.
Eplegaarden is a self pick orchard located just outside of Madison in Fitchburg, WI. Living in Madison, I am fortunate to have quite a few self pick produce opportunities in the area. I have been to other orchards in the area, but this was my first time at Eplegaarden.
If it wasn’t obvious by the long line and cars parked along the side of the road when the parking lot was full, the beautiful landscape and friendly people made it clear: Eplegaarden is a great, family friendly, local place.
Even though the morning started off chilly, the sun was bright and it warmed up quickly. As it warmed up, the orchard filled with people – including lots of families with children going apple picking for the first time.
Eplegaarden has self pick pumpkins, apples and raspberries and different times of the year. This time I was there for the apples. The signage at the orchard was great. Not only was it very informative, but it kept with the real rural Norwegian theme that they have.
As you walk in, they have a sign with the different varieties of apple available and staff to inform you of where the ripe apples are located, as well as sell you your bag, and answer any other questions you might have.
We went with the Spartans, Redmax and Gala Apples. Personally, I prefer sweeter apples to eat, but I got some to use for baking as well.
All of the previous signs were on a path leading up to the apple trees, and then this sign was facing the other way on the path on the way back.
I ended up taking home about 10 apples between the three varieties. (I shared a large bag with my parents)
Eplegaarden uses a different method than most orchards that I have been to. You buy a bag from them and then fill the bag rather than picking as much as you want and then paying per pound. I kind of missed picking in actual old school bushel baskets, but it is definitely easier for them to just sell you a bag rather than having the weigh everyone’s bag when they are done.
I also scored this cute little book with different apple recipes!
A few of the recipes in there that I am excited to make:
Cinnamon Apple Syrup
Apple Potato Salad
Eplegaarden was so much fun. I will definitely be back there for pumpkin season. I hear they have a haunted barn and get all decked out for Halloween!
What are your favorite apple based recipes?
What have you cooked using apples that is not a dessert or bakery item?