If your idea of picking produce is shopping the pyramid-shaped displays at your local supermarket, it’s time you had a more down-to-earth experience — literally. Why not visit a couple of the pick-your-own farms and orchards within driving distance of home? These three spots offer the chance to get out and enjoy some country air while snagging sun-warmed, impeccably fresh fruits and veggies.
Have your heart set on a certain type of produce? Call ahead or visit the websites to check for availability; all ripening times listed below are approximate.
1271 Hanover St, Yorktown Heights; 914.962.2368
The only farm in Westchester County that allows you to pick your own vegetables, Hilltop Hanover is dedicated to sustainable agriculture, community education and accessible food systems. Visit and bring a picnic lunch, then hike the woodland trails before having some PYO fun. In late July you’ll find beans, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, herbs and flowers.
By early August, ground cherries, eggplants, and tomatoes usually join the mix. Later in the month, pole beans and sunflowers make an appearance. Much of this produce lasts through September, depending on the weather and availability. The staff may also plant fall veggies, including radishes.
U-pick hours: Fridays, 1 p.m.–5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m., weather permitting.
Photos Courtesy of Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center
1335 White Hill Rd, Yorktown Heights; 914.245.5111
The farm’s 103rd harvest season is scheduled to kick off August 17, with pick-your-own summer crops of peaches and nectarines. The harvest will continue until the supply runs out.
While you’re on the farm, check out its winery, bakery (which offers freshly baked pies as well as apple cider donuts, brownies, and other treats), Apple Farm Market (featuring everything from cider to snacks) and Country Market, stocked with gifts, crafts, and other tempting tchotchkes.
U-pick hours: Daily, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., starting August 17
306 Frozen Ridge Rd, Newburgh; 845.562.4268
The amazing selection of fruits and vegetables you’ll find here, coupled with stunning valley views, makes this destination well worth the drive. The 150-acre site currently has PYO peaches, plums, apricots, sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, eggplant, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, zucchini, beets, turnips, kohlrabi and zucchini flowers, and the tomatoes are expected to ripen in the next week to 10 days.
Throughout August you’ll also find raspberries and sweet corn. In early September, several varieties of pears ripen, followed by table grapes. Beyond that cornucopia, there’s a little village for children to play in, animals to see, and a farm store and kitchen serving up milkshakes and frozen cider.
U-pick hours: Daily, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Lawrence Farms Orchards
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