You Pick 'em!
Even the biggest city slicker can get in on the traditions of harvest in the Berkshires. An authentic, if pleasantly low-impact, agricultural experience is just a short drive away.
At the base of scenic Monument Mountain, visitors wander the gentle hillsides of Windy Hill Farms picking more than 20 varieties of apples. Upon arrival, pickers receive a bag and a map highlighting which apples are currently ripe. The amateur orchard farmer can then wander the rows, picking Macoun, McIntosh, Empire and the new Honeycrisp apple varieties, among others, from the well-kept trees.
Some of the fruit trees even support multiple varieties of apples, a benefit of grafting techniques employed by the farm. At the garden center, the now-experienced picker can enjoy natural, fresh-pressed sweet cider and a wide selection of plants, including apple trees for sale. Windy Hill Farms is open daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and is located on Rte. 7 North, Great Barrington; call 413-298-3217 for more information.
In neighboring Connecticut, the farm-fresh experience takes a different slant. At the Land of Nod Vineyard & Winery in East Canaan, the fruits of choice are grapes and raspberries, which are currently used to produce a chardonnay, a raspberry fruit wine and a pinot noir.
Visitors can call ahead and schedule a wagon tour of the vineyard, ending with an optional tasting session. Fall harvest also brings a selection of pumpkins, as well as locally made fruit preserves and maple syrup. Land of Nod in located at 99 Lower Rd., East Canaan; call 860-824-5225 to schedule a tour.