Apple Picking and Other Farms: Having Fun During Coronavirus

Mike Kraus
4 min readMar 26, 2021


Apple Picking and Other Farms: Having Fun During Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) didn’t stop autumn. It’s a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the weather. Let’s embrace the change and find ways to be grateful together.

1) Where To Go? — What kind of experience are you looking for? Do you have kids? Then you’ll probably want some place close that has more of a theme park feel. A farm with a petting zoo, hay rides, and many other activities. If you’re a couple that wants something a little more romantic, look for a more remote farm with fewer amenities. Chefs may be interested in farms with a large variety of apples. And people looking for something more unique may search for farms with heirloom fruits and veggies.

So, do a little research before you visit. Especially if you are looking for some place special or want to bring a pet. (Also, have a couple backup orchards/farms just in case you encounter large gatherings or other unsafe situations)

2) When To Go? — To avoid crowds, it tends to be best to visit farms before noon.

September and October are great for apple picking. But, it can vary greatly depending on your specific location and climate. Also, there are lots of other foods available at pick-your-own (PYO) farms like fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, and products like homemade honey, syrup, and pies.

3) Is This a Good Apple? — Most orchards will tell you which foods are ready to pick. If you see a lot of apples dropped under a tree, it may be past ripe. The apples are probably still good, but may need to be eaten sooner.

Start by picking apples from the bottom of a tree and working your way up. A ripe apple is easily removed with a simple twist and pull. It’s okay if an apple is a bit tart as they can be stored longer. And avoid bruised apples “as a few bad apples can spoil the bunch” is a true saying. Prevent bruises by gently placing apples in your bag.

4) Where To Put All These Apples? — Find a cool, dry spot in your home to keep fresh. If moist from rain or sprinklers, lightly dry off before storage. But don’t rub off the white blush until you’re ready to eat.

5) So Many Apples? — In your excitement, you brought home several bushels of apples. Fortunately, there’s lots you can do with them like make vinegar, candles, jam, soaps, butter, lotions, decorations, and so much more.

Personally, baking apples are my favorite. It can be by themselves, as part of an entre, side dishes, or in pies. Lots of great recipes at:

6) Enjoy the Experience — It’s all about time with your friends and family. Of course, you could just go to a grocery store and be done with this in five minutes. But, it’s about the people you’re with. It’s searching for the “perfect” orchard that has what you’re looking for. It’s finding the best apples. Taking photos as we awkwardly pretend like we know anything about farming and agriculture. Maybe getting fresh apple cider and adding something extra to it. Once home, sharing great treats and meals of food that you picked yourself.

More Having Fun During Coronavirus

Health and Safety Considerations for gathering:

1) No indoor activities

2) No sharing bathrooms

3) Wash hands before and after gathering. Don’t touch your face.

4) Bring your own food, snacks, drinks, and utensils.

5) Do not attend if you have asthma, heart disease, diabetes, overweight, have/survived cancer, or 50+ year old.

6) Do not attend if you have or have had Coronavirus or showing symptoms (

7) Wear a mask and practice social distancing (

8) Limit attendance. Check local health department for guidelines and restrictions.

9) Talk with everyone about comfort levels. Expect and allow non-participation and last minute cancellations.

Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.

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