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Celebrate the fall season with apple-related festivities
Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay and Jaemor Farms in Alto host apple-picking opportunities
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Caramel apples is one of the many delicious treats that Hillcrest Orchards offers.

Jameor Farms ‘U-Pick’ event
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
Where: 5340 Cornelia Highway, Alto
How much: $12 for a peck and $18 for a bushel
More info: www.jaemorfarms.com

Hillcrest Orchards Apple Pickin’ Jubilee
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30
Where: 9696 Ga. 52 E., Ellijay
How much: $10; plus $7 for half a peck and $11 for a peck of apples
More info: www.hillcrestorchards.net

Enjoy our recipe for apple cake here.

From baskets filled to the brim to the smell of them baking in the oven, apples seem to be everywhere in the fall.

In Northeast Georgia, several places such as Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay to Jaemor Farms in Alto highlight the healthy fruit with special apple-related festivities. Activities range from picking apples straight from the tree to buying apple-flavored baked goods for the season.

“Our peak (for apple picking) is now through about the third week in October,” said Kristin Smith of Hillcrest Orchards. “We had a great crop this year.”

And the crops are primed for picking. The farm, itself, usually opens for business Sept. 1 every year and slows down by November. The apple orchard at 9696 Ga. 52 E. in Ellijay is about an hour’s drive from Gainesville.

“There are some late varieties (of apple) that we have in November,” Smith said.

Her mother, Janice Hale, owns the orchard. And Smith’s been working there for as long as she can remember, doing everything from talking to customers in the bakery to working with her hands in the orchards.

And the farm she has worked at for so long is hosting its Apple Pickin’ Jubilee on Saturdays and Sundays from now through the end of October. The festival involves an apple tree maze; cow milking; wagon, pedal cart and hayrides; apple, moonshine and farmhouse museums; corn mazes for adults and children; and duck and pig races, among other attractions.

Clogging performances and music from bluegrass bands are also scheduled throughout the day.

Food vendors will be on scene. The orchard also has a bakery, which sells everything from apples and pies to turnovers.

“The bakery has everything apples,” Smith said.

Tickets for the Apple Pickin’ Jubilee festival are $10 per person. For an additional fee, guests may pick apples in the orchard. Prices are $7 for a half of a peck and $11 for one peck.

Some of the apple varieties at Hillcrest include Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Cameo, Arkansas Black, Candy Crisp and Gold Rush varieties, as well as others available in November.

For residents looking for a similar selection without the drive to Ellijay, Jaemor Farms in Alto is only about 17 miles from downtown Gainesville. The family-owned business has Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Red Rome, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples. The Pink Lady and Mutsu variations will be available in October, Caroline Lewallen of Jaemor Farms said.

Visitors to Jameor Farms can pick Arkansas Black variety of apples during the “U-Pick” event Oct. 8. The orchards will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5340 Cornelia Highway, unless the orchard is all picked out before that time.

Jaemor charges $12 for a peck and $18 for a bushel. Only four people can enter the orchard per bag purchase.

For more information about Hillcrest Orchards, visit hillcrestorchards.net.

For more information about Jaemor Farms, visit jaemorfarms.com.

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